Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Local News

January 28, 2014

Plea agreements inked in Acapulco criminal case

(Continued)

Adolfo Lopez is required to give a statement outlining all of his criminal activities under oath and he is subject to a polygraph test. According to the agreement, “a failed polygraph result is appropriate grounds to withdraw the plea,” and a trial would occur instead.

While on probation, both men were ordered not to consume alcoholic beverages and illegal controlled substances and they are subject to testing.

According to Adolfo Lopez’s agreement, “The state does not object to defendant’s probation being transferred out of state if the defendant were to move ...” After one year of probation, the document stated he may petition to terminate it if he has paid all restitution and complies with other probation terms.

With Benito Lopez scheduled to stand trial in Dearborn Circuit Court Jan. 6, why did the prosecutor have a change of heart? Adolfo Lopez was “the primary person involved” in wrongdoing, Negangard contended. “Benito was prepared to cooperate against Adolfo. The terms of that deal with Benito have been worked out for awhile,” but the trial wasn’t cancelled until restitution issues were finalized. “It was always the understanding that he would testify against Adolfo if Adolfo’s matter went to trial.”

Months ago, charges were dismissed against the Batesville restaurant’s third owner, Abel Bustos, then 50, Lafayette, who did not have a hands-on role in its operation.

Benito Lopez is now a shift manager at a restaurant called The Toros in the former Acapulco Mexico Restaurant spot in Batesville, but is not an owner, according to the prosecutor.

The prosecutor had praise for Indiana State Excise Police investigator Tim Sutton, who “really did a remarkable job putting this case together.” Employees overseen by the two owners told Negangard they worked 60-80 hours a week with short breaks “from open to close” at the restaurants “and they were not getting paid a dime for overtime.” Workers also were required to pay back to the restaurants the amounts of their paychecks out of their tip money. “They were being exploited because they were illegal.” He reflected that the two Lopezes were “not just nice immigrants working hard for their families.”

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