Fourth-Grade Teacher Arrested on Drug Trafficking Charges

By McCarton Ackerman 08/26/15

Oklahoma sheriffs found heroin and cocaine wrapped in baby diapers.

Rafael Luna and Jose Lopez
Photo via

A fourth-grade teacher from Arizona was doing far more than grading papers during his off-hours and could be facing significant detention time behind bars for allegedly drug trafficking.

Rafael Luna, 56, was arrested by sheriff’s deputies in Canadian County in Oklahoma after they found 1.2 pounds of heroin, 15 pounds of cocaine, and $1,300 in cash wrapped inside baby diapers, in the trunk of a Mercedes. His accomplice, 50-year-old Jose Lopez, was also arrested.

The pair were initially pulled over for driving erratically. They initially told deputies that they were headed to Fort Leonardwood, Mo., to watch Luna’s son graduate from U.S. Army basic training. But after the officers noticed inconsistencies in their stories, they sent for a drug dog to search the vehicle and found the illegal substances.

Sheriff Chris West said the pair had been recruited by an unknown person and already taken multiple cross-country trips this summer to traffic drugs. They were on the way to New York City for this particular shipment.

"He says that he's supplementing his income, that this is his summer job and that he's hauled multiple loads cross-country," said West. "Here's a guy that probably says. 'I love kids, and I'm teaching fourth grade.’ But yet, he's hauling dope that often winds up in the hands of these kids and ruins their lives. It's pathetic." Sheriff Randall Edwards also noted that the drugs originated from Mexico and likely have a street value of $1 million.

Both Luna and Lopez were booked for trafficking cocaine and heroin. They remain in custody in lieu of $205,000 bail each.

Last month, a high school social studies teacher in North Carolina was also arrested on drug-trafficking charges. Brittany Alexandria Coley, 22, faces over a decade behind bars on numerous counts drug trafficking, manufacturing marijuana, maintaining a dwelling for keeping or selling controlled substances and possession of drug paraphernalia. She has remained jailed in lieu of $250,000 bond.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.