Currently awaiting trial in one of America’s most hellish prisons, future Michael Bay biopic subject and deposed Mexican drug lord El Chapo may soon have some company in Sinola cartel leader Damaso Lopez who was just arrested in Mexico and might be sent to the U.S. to face justice.
Lopez, known as “El Licenciado,” a reference to his time as a lawyer that translates roughly to “the Graduate,” has been battling with other Sinola cartel members, mainly El Chapo’s own sons, for control of the group that was once headed by El Chapo. According to the LA Times, El Licenciado was arrested at “a swank apartment complex near downtown Mexico City.” Photos released by the Mexican government show a disheveled-looking Lopez wearing a tracksuit and handcuffs, surrounded by heavily armored and ski mask-clad soldiers. The arrest was part of a multi-point raid by Mexican authorities who also arrested an alleged associate of Lopez described as a financial advisor.
Lopez was indicted in U.S. Federal Court in 2011 on money laundering and cocaine smuggling charges that also sought to seize over $280 million in assets. He was also suspected of assisting El Chapo in a 2001 prison break from a facility where Lopez was head of security. Weird.
Experts don’t believe the arrest of Lopez will do much to end the Sinaola cartel’s on-going civil war as arrests like these tend to escalate violence while smaller cartels attempt to move in on now open territory.
If extradited to the U.S. and convicted, Lopez would face up to a life sentence.