FALLS CHURCH, Va. – A lieutenant in drug king Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was sentenced to life imprisonment on Friday in a Virginia courtroom. Damascus Lopez, head of the Mexican drug cartel Sinaloa, confessed in September to a federal court in Alexandria for drugging on charges after being handed over from Mexico earlier this year.
Life imprisonment was expected after both sides had agreed to life imprisonment in a plea.
In court Lopez admitted he was a leader in the Sinaloa cartel and controlled hundreds of men with a faction. He admitted to having used "Sicarios" or "Hitmen" to commit murders, to further the interest of the cartel and to move tons of cocaine and other drugs throughout America.
Lopez's condemnation comes when Guzman is facing a trial in New York.
It is unclear whether Lopez, Guzman's right-hand man, is to be testified in Guzman's courtroom. The publicly available court documents from the plea agreement do not contain a duty of cooperation, as would normally be the case. However, several documents in the case remain under the seal.
Although Lopez was sentenced to life imprisonment, it is a relatively common practice in the Federal Court in Alexandria for prosecutors to file a leniency application requesting the reduction of the sentence. Defendants who cooperate to a considerable extent in other cases.
In court papers, prosecutors said the cartel has generated billions of illegal profits.
"Put simply, the defendant had a leading role in the Sinaloa Cartel, the largest and most" The Organization of Violent Drug Trafficking in the World, "the prosecutor wrote." It's hard to imagine a more timid drug crime. "
Mexican authorities arrested Lopez – known as "El Licenciado" – a graduate student's diploma – in an apartment in Mexico City last year, alleging that the arrest had led to the collapse of his faction within the cartel. 19659004] Defense lawyers did not return calls and e-mails looking for a comment.
Lopez was also ordered to forfeit $ 25 million.