Police say drug suspect obliterated his own fingerprints with acid
Salem, Mass. -- A man charged with trafficking in cocaine in Salem burned his fingertips with acid to obliterate his fingerprints and hide his identity, police say.
The man, who gave the name Jorge Lopez when arrested, was ordered held on $250,000 cash bail after pleading innocent at his arraignment Friday while authorities try to figure out who he is.
Salem police Lt. Brian Gilligan told a judge that when they took fingerprints of Lopez after his arrest Wednesday, they were surprised to find that there were no prints. Police do not think he gave his true identity and asked that he be held without bail.
Police think he burned his fingers deliberately, noting there were no other scars or burn marks on his hands.
Lopez claims he burned his fingertips while working as a mechanic and grabbing hot exhaust parts, his court-appointed lawyer said.
Police arrested Lopez after receiving a tip that a man was selling cocaine from a car that traveled around the city. Police allegedly found a tin stuffed with 23 bags of cocaine hidden under the passenger seat of the suspect's vehicle.
The roughly 14 grams of cocaine has a street value of about $1,100, police said.
Lopez is scheduled back in court on Wednesday.
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