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East Palo Alto woman sentenced on drug, weapons charges

 

An East Palo Alto woman who allegedly skipped bail and avoided recapture for more than seven years pleaded no contest Monday to drug and weapons charges, San Mateo County prosecutors said Tuesday.

Berta Lilia Lopes, 44, was first arrested Dec. 21, 2005, when narcotics officers served a warrant at her home, where she lived with her husband, another man and several children, according to the district attorney's office.

Authorities found a handgun and ammunition, cash, heroin, methamphetamine and other drug-related equipment during the search.

Lopes then allegedly failed to appear in court in February 2007, while out of custody on a $50,000 bail bond. A bench warrant was issued but she was not rearrested until this past August, prosecutors said.

On Monday, Lopes pleaded no contest to felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and possession of a firearm by a felon and admitted to selling or attempting to sell cocaine or methamphetamine and a prior conviction.

Under the terms of a plea agreement reached with prosecutors, Lopes was sentenced immediately to state prison for five years, with 509 days credit for time served, prosecutors said.

— Bay City News Service

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Short story writers wanted!

The 33rd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 29. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

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