A cell leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel was arraigned in federal court Monday following his ssurrender to U.S. law enforcement authorities at the Calexico West Port of Entry in California, on July 27, according to officials.
Damaso Lopez-Serrano, aka Mini Lic, 29, is believed to be the highest-ranking Mexican cartel leader ever to self-surrender in the U.S.
Lopez-Serrano was arraigned on an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in San Diego on Aug. 19, 2016, charging him and five of his close associates, including Nahum Sicairos-Montalvo, aka Kinceanero, with Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances Intended for Importation and Conspiracy to Import Controlled Substances.
To read the indictment click here: DOJ
U.S. District Court Judge Dana M. Sabraw arraigned Lopez-Serrano on these charges and unsealed the indictment against these two defendants.
The U.S. also announced today the unsealing of an additional indictment returned Dec. 14 in Virginia charging father and son, Damaso Lopez Nunez and Damaso Lopez Serrano, respectively, with Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances Intended for Importation.
Damaso Lopez Nunez was arrested by Mexican authorities on May 2, and the U.S. is in the process of seeking his extradition on the Dec. 14 indictment. Lopez Serrano will be arraigned on this indictment at a future date.
The Southern District of California indictment unsealed Monday marks the conclusion of the fourth phase of a five-year OCDETF investigation Operation Narco Polo. It has resulted in charges against over 125 people and has had a significant impact on the worldwide operations of the Sinaloa Cartel.
It has resulted in charges against over 125 people and has had a significant impact on the worldwide operations of the Sinaloa Cartel.
Defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.