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Gainesville, Oakwood police release info on auto theft ring
Entering auto suspects
From left: Michael David Lopez, Jan Carlos Lopez and Carlos Ernesto Lopez

Gainesville and Oakwood police released more information this week on charges they have brought against four men accused in a burglary and motor vehicle theft ring in South Hall.  

The case has spanned multiple law enforcement agencies. 

Three men from Gainesville and Oakwood were charged in August.  

Carlos Ernesto Lopez, Jr., 19, of Gainesville; Jan Carlos Lopez, 22, of Oakwood; and Michael David Lopez, 32, of Gainesville, were accused of operating a local theft ring in Oakwood, Flowery Branch and Chestnut Mountain, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Derreck Booth wrote in a news release. 

A fourth man is now behind bars, according to authorities. Juan Carlos Carrillo-Lopez, 26, of Oakwood, was charged with violation of the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and was arrested after a traffic stop Wednesday, Sept. 23. 

Booth said Carrillo-Lopez was allegedly part of an organization “benefiting from numerous entering auto and general theft cases as well as burglary and motor vehicle theft” between April and June in South Hall. 

“His involvement included holding evidence and taking part in entering autos, burglaries and other thefts,” Booth wrote in an email. 

Oakwood Police Lt. Todd Templeton said Michael Lopez, Jan Lopez and Carlos Lopez were each charged with one count of entering auto from a May 18 incident on Prestwick Drive. Templeton did not provide any further information on the case. 

Gainesville Police provided The Times copies of 11 warrants signed in the case. The offenses listed happened in April on Big Rock Ridge Trail, Overlook Ridge Lane, Brayden Drive and Amberleigh Trace. 

Gainesville Police obtained warrants for Carlos Lopez and Jan Lopez on charges of entering auto. Police also obtained warrants for Jan Lopez for charges of first-degree burglary and theft by taking. 

JUAN CARLOS CARRILLO-LOPEZ

Though the alleged offenses happened in April, the warrants were not sworn until late August. Gainesville Police did not respond to questions from The Times about the charges. 

Carrillo-Lopez was stopped on Candler Road near Dale Road and was initially booked on charges of speeding, failure to maintain lane and having an open container. Investigators obtained the RICO warrant Monday, Sept. 28. 

Carrillo-Lopez is being held at the Hall County Jail with no bond. 

The police departments in Braselton, Gainesville and Oakwood collaborated with the Sheriff’s Office in this case. The Times has reached out to these other departments to learn more about the case. 

No attorney information was available for Jan Lopez or Juan Carrillo-Lopez from Magistrate Court officials, Friday, Oct. 2. 

Attempts to reach Carlos Lopez’s attorney, Leslie Aiken, were unsuccessful. 

Attorney David Hoffer said he had just received Michael Lopez’s case from another attorney and declined comment.  

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