Sinaloa Cartel leader's brother arrested in Arizona, will face charges in San Diego

Sinaloa Cartel leader's brother arrested in Arizona, will face charges in San Diego
Posted at 4:24 PM, Aug 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-18 20:04:57-04

(KGTV) - The brother of a Sinaloa Cartel leader was arrested in Arizona Thursday, weeks after his uncle surrendered to authorities in southern California.

Alvaro Lopez-Nunez, 38, of Culiacan, Mexico, was arrested at the Nogales Port of Entry and is in Drug Enforcement Administration custody, the Office of the U.S. Attorney Southern District of California said.

RELATED: Former Mexican legislator linked to drug kingpin 'El Chapo' accused of drug trafficking

Alvaro Lopez-Nunez is the brother of Sinaloa Cartel leader Damaso Lopez-Nunez, known as "Licenciado," and uncle of cartel cell leader Damaso Lopez-Serrano, known as "Mini Lic," according to officials.

Lopez-Serrano turned himself into authorities on July 27. Damaso Lopez-Nunez was reportedly a close associate of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who was arrested in January 2016 following a daring prison escape.

RELATED: 'El Chapo' Guzman suffering effects of solitary confinement, his lawyers say

A San Diego federal grand jury returned an indictment on Aug. 19, 2016, charging Lopez-Serrano, Alvaro Lopez-Nunez and four associates, including Nahum Sicairos-Montalvo, with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances intended for importation, and conspiracy to import controlled substances.

Sicairos-Montalvo was arrested by Mexican officials the same day of the grand jury's indictment. The remaining associates remain at large.

RELATED: Cartel leader pleads guilty to drug, money laundering charges

The charges against Alvaro Lopez-Nunez carry a possible punishment up to life in prison each. He will be transferred to San Diego to face those charges.