Man claims he smuggled drugs to keep family safe

A man was arrested after claiming he and his family were threatened for failure to smuggle drugs into the U.S.

Michael Jay Lopez attempted to cross cocaine in a 2009 gold Dodge Avenger with Texas license plates last month.

A K-9 gave authorities an alert and Lopez was referred to secondary inspection, where they found 27 packages of cocaine wrapped in cellophane.

The cocaine seized totaled over 70 pounds.

Lopez, a forklift operator at a local clothing store, allegedly told authorities that he was approached by a smuggler.

According to court documents, Lopez was being paid $1,000 for every successful trip.

Lopez claimed that his family would be in danger if he failed to comply with the smuggling request.

According to authorities, his story was false because no report about the alleged threat was made to local authorities, according to court documents.

Lopez was arrested in Hidalgo last month, and he will appear before Magistrate Judge Peter Ormsby on October 10, 2013 at 8:45 a.m.