The brother of a high-profile Sinaloa cartel figure was sentenced to more than five years in prison in federal court in San Diego on Friday.
Alvaro Lopez Nuñez pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine for distribution in 2018 and has spent the past four years in custody awaiting sentencing.
He was arrested at the border in Nogales, Arizona in 2017 and charged along with several others, including his nephew Damaso Lopez Serrano, known as “Mini Lic,” who is said to be a Sinaloa drug lord Guzmán, godson of Joaquin “The Chapo”.
Lopez Serrano made headlines when he turned himself in to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials at the Calaisgo border. The young drug dealer is reportedly seeking protection from a cartel rival, Guzman’s own son. He has also pleaded guilty and is tentatively scheduled to be sentenced in September.
Lopez Nuñez’s brother is Damaso Lopez Nuñez, known as “El Licenciado” or graduate, a former prison officer who helped orchestrate Guzmán’s escape and became one of the cartel’s top leaders. He was arrested in Mexico City and became a key witness against his former boss in Guzman’s blockbuster 2019 trial in Brooklyn.
Lopez Nuñez’s sentencing documents were sealed, as is common in cartel cases. US District Judge Dana Sabraw sentenced him to five years and three months in prison, most of which Lopez Nunez has already served.