Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman (619) 546-6717
NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – August 18, 2017
SAN DIEGO – Alvaro Lopez-Nunez – brother of Sinaloa Cartel leader Damaso Lopez-Nunez, aka Licenciado, and uncle of Sinaloa Cartel cell leader Damaso Lopez-Serrano, aka Mini Lic – was taken into custody by Drug Enforcement Administration agents at the Nogales, Arizona Port of Entry on August 17, 2017. His arrest follows on the heels of Lopez-Serrano’s July 27, 2017, self-surrender in the Southern District of California.
A federal grand jury in San Diego returned an indictment on August 19, 2016, charging Damaso Lopez-Serrano, Alvaro Lopez-Nunez and four of their close associates, including Nahum Sicairos-Montalvo, aka Kinceanero, with Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances Intended for Importation and Conspiracy to Import Controlled Substances. That same day, the Clerk of the Court issued sealed warrants for their arrests. Sicairos-Montalvo was subsequently arrested by Mexican law enforcement officials. The remaining defendants are fugitives.
On August 18, 2017, Alvaro Lopez-Nunez made his initial appearance in federal court in Tucson, Arizona and was arraigned on the San Diego indictment.
The arrest marks the continued efforts by the Southern District of California to target the Sinaloa Cartel in Operation Narco Polo. This case is the result of ongoing efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership that brings together the combined expertise and unique abilities of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, dismantle and prosecute high-level members of drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations and enterprises.
DEFENDANT Case Number 16CR1896-DMS
Alvaro Lopez-Nunez Age: 38 Culiacan, Mexico
SUMMARY OF CHARGES
Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances for Purpose of Unlawful Importation, in violation of Title 21 U.S.C. §§ 959, 960 and 963; Term of custody including a mandatory minimum 10 years and up to life imprisonment, $10,000,000 fine and 5 years supervised release.
Conspiracy to Import Controlled Substances, in violation of Title 21 U.S.C. §§ 952, 960 and 963. Term of custody including a mandatory minimum 10 years and up to life imprisonment, $10,000,000 fine and 5 years supervised release.
Drug Enforcement Administration
Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations
Customs and Border Protection Office of Border Patrol
Department of Justice, Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces
Department of Justice, Office of Enforcement Operations
*An indictment or complaint is not evidence that the defendants committed the crimes charged. The defendants are presumed innocent until the Government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Southern District of California