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Accused drug kingpin Damaso Lopez (C), nicknamed “The Graduate”,  is escorted by police officers in Mexico City
Image: Reuters/C. Jasson

Mexico extradites 'El Chapo' lieutenant to US

July 7, 2018

He was known as "The Graduate" because he went to university. Now, Damaso Lopez Nunez is set to face charges in the US related to his work for the drug cartel formerly run by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.


Mexico has extradited the former right-hand man of notorious Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to the United States.

The US could sentence the 52-year-old Damaso Lopez Nunez, known as "The Graduate" because he attended higher education, to life in prison if convicted for conspiring to distribute cocaine and committing money laundering.

"Lopez Nunez's arrest and extradition demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our partners in Mexico to the pursuit of drug traffickers who seek to flood our streets with addictive and deadly poisons, for their own illicit gain," acting US Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan said on Friday.

'El Chapo' extradited to the United States

Mexico's acting attorney general, Alberto Elias Beltran, said Lopez was also a potential witness against Guzman, who was arrested in 2016.

Lopez previously worked for Guzman in the Sinaloa cartel and helped him escape a Mexican prison in 2001. A subsequent escape from another prison in 2015 made international headlines.

Mexico extradited Guzman to the United States in 2017 to face drug trafficking and money laundering charges.

After Guzman's arrest, Lopez fought Guzman's sons over control of the cartel and reportedly sought the aid of the fast-growing Jalisco cartel in his quest to take over Sinaloa. Police arrested him in Mexico City in 2017.

amp/cmk (AP, Reuters)

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