Mexican cartel member pleads guilty to US charges

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The highest-ranking member of a Mexican cartel to surrender to U.S. authorities has pleaded guilty to drug smuggling charges.

Damaso Lopez Serrano entered his plea Wednesday in federal court in San Diego, nearly six months after turning himself over to US authorities at the California border.

U.S. officials say the 29-year-old is the highest-ranking Mexican cartel leader ever to self-surrender in the United States.

His father, Damaso Lopez Nunez, was arrested in Mexico City in May and had been battling for control of the Sinaloa cartel following the 2016 arrest of billionaire kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

Guzman was extradited to the United States in 2017 to face drug charges.

Lopez Serrano admitted to organizing shipments of thousands of kilograms (pounds) of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin to the United States.


This story has been corrected to remove hyphen in name in final paragraph.