One month after pleading guilty to stealing a rifle from an Ashburn home, Dennis Jose Lopez, 21, was sentenced to serve 10 years in state prison by Circuit Court Judge James P. Fisher.
In August 2018, an Ashburn resident discovered that his wife’s 2017 BMW X3 and her 2017 Porsche Macan had been stolen. The victim also discovered that his .50-caliber rifle and 150 rounds of ammunition had been stolen from inside his garage. Using video from motion-activated security cameras and fingerprints collected at the scene, the Sheriff’s Office identified Lopez as the suspect.
During an interview with investigators following his arrest, Lopez admitted to stealing the rifle and the Porsche. The Porsche was recovered from an auto auction in New Jersey but the BMW and rifle remain have not been recovered
On Aug. 23, Lopez pleaded guilty to one count of grand larceny of a firearm and one count of conspiracy to commit larceny of a firearm.
According to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, at the time of sentencing, Lopez had six pending charges in Maryland related to stolen firearms, use of restricted ammunition, unlawful possession of a firearm and unclassified weapons offenses. Lopez had one prior conviction on his record for destruction of public property in the District of Columbia from 2017.
While the state sentencing guidelines called for a sentence of up to six months behind bars, Fisher said that assessment was “wholly inappropriate and inadequate.”
“You preyed upon residents who have every right to have their property and home protected,” Fisher said while handing down his sentence. “You’re a criminal and the Court will treat you like one.”
Fisher imposed an additional 15 years suspended time and five years of supervised probation upon his release. Lopez also will be required to pay $49,311.45 in restitution to the victim.
Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Nicole Wittmann said the sentence should serve as a deterrent to other criminals.
“While some may look at this a simply a property crime, the reality is that this defendant was immersed in the movement of stolen property, including firearms,” she said. “Many property crimes are not as simple as they may appear on their face and they deeply impact the quality of lives of our residents every day.”