Cali Estes again asks, How do we educate our clients on a sober living facility that is not a RIP-OFF or wanted by The FBI? How do we spot the scam owners selling drugs?
1:54 p.m. Jan. 9 Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
A couple who owns a sober living facility near Lake Worth was booked Thursday in connection to drug charges, according to an arrest report.
Nelson Lopez-Rodriguez, 61 faces charges of marijuana possession with intent to sell within 1,000 feet of a church and possession of drug paraphernalia, and Allison Lopez, 50, faces charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both bonded out of Palm Beach County Jail for $5,000 and $6,000 respectively.
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies raided the couple’s residence in May, finding more than a pound of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and some Xanax pills, the report said.
Lopez-Rodriguez reportedly told deputies he is aware of the marijuana and sells it on a regular basis. Lopez said she was also aware of the marijuana and uses it but doesn’t sell it.
A criminal informant told deputies that Lopez-Rodriguez keeps 10 to 50 pounds of marijuana in the house and is connected to cocaine traffickers.
Property records show the couple has owned Stephanie’s Family Sober House, 3613 Coconut Road, since 2003. Lopez is listed as the current president and Lopez-Rodriguez’s name is on the articles of incorporation.
A resident at the home said the news of the arrests has spread through the facility, and no one saw it coming.
“It has come as a shock to us,” he said.
He said he knows both owners and Lopez, who works hands-on with the residents, always preaches messages of recovery. He has never seen anyone bring drugs to the facility.
The residents of the home are a tight-knit group, who do activities together including sports and socializing. Many have jobs and pay for the rent themselves.
He said they don’t know the future of the home or what might happen, adding that this was the best sober home he had ever been to.
The man estimated that nearly 30 people live there, and they must pass frequent drug tests to stay on the property.