Springfield man arrested in Whately on drug trafficking, firearm charges

State Police arrested a Springfield man the night of Jan. 2 following a traffic stop in Whately.

State Police arrested a Springfield man the night of Jan. 2 following a traffic stop in Whately. COURTESY PHOTO/MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE

Staff Report

Published: 01-05-2024 1:44 PM

WHATELY — State Police arrested a Springfield man Tuesday night on charges of trafficking fentanyl and illegal possession of a firearm after a traffic stop on Interstate 91.

Mathew Lopez, 21, was arrested on the evening of Jan. 2 after State Police Trooper Joshua Kopeski ran an electronic license plate inquiry on Lopez’s Nissan SUV. Kopeski’s inquiry revealed the plates should have been affixed to a Saturn Vue, which led to him pulling over Lopez on Interstate 91 in Whately.

According to State Police, Lopez is being charged with fentanyl trafficking, illegal possession of a firearm, carrying a loaded firearm, possession of a firearm in commission of a felony, four counts of possession of a large-capacity feeding device, attaching the wrong motor vehicle plates, operating an uninsured motor vehicle and operating an unregistered motor vehicle.

When Kopeski approached Lopez’s SUV, he confirmed it was not properly registered, which meant it needed to be towed, according to State Police. The trooper then asked Lopez to step out of the vehicle to conduct an inventory of its contents. The inventory led to Kopeski allegedly finding roughly 500 wax packets containing a substance believed to be heroin.

Lopez was placed under arrest by Kopeski and fellow Trooper Jack Sarnacki. According to State Police, a full search of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of a loaded Glock 19 pistol and an extended 30-round magazine. Lopez is not licensed to carry firearms, according to police.

Upon his arrest, Lopez was transported to the Northampton State Police barracks for booking, where his bail was set at $25,000. An arraignment in Greenfield District Court was scheduled.