MEXICO CITY – Nahum Abraham Sicairos Montalvo, suspected of being a money manager for powerful Sinaloa cartel member Damaso Lopez Serrano, was arrested on Monday, officials told EFE.
Lopez Serrano, the godson of jailed Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzman and considered one of his possible successors as head of the criminal organization, surrendered to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) last Wednesday in Calexico, California.
Sicairos Montalvos, a top associate of Lopez Serrano, was arrested in Atizapan de Zaragoza, a city in Mexico state, which surrounds the Federal District and forms part of the Mexico City metropolitan area, the AG’s office said.
Criminal Investigations Agency officers and army troops arrested Sicairos Montalvos, who was the subject of a Mexican arrest warrant and a US extradition request on criminal conspiracy, drug trafficking and other charges.
Sicairos Montalvo is the subject of two arrest warrants issued by a federal court in California on Aug. 19, 2016, the AG’s office said.
Authorities arrested one of Sicairos Montalvo’s associates, identified only as “Filiberto N,” and seized a kilo of a substance presumed to be an illegal drug, the AG’s office said.
Damaso Lopez Serrano is the son of Damaso Lopez Nuñez, who reportedly succeeded Guzman as the leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel.
Lopez Nuñez, who was arrested on May 2 at a luxury building in Mexico City, was considered Guzman’s successor as leader of the powerful Sinaloa cartel following El Chapo’s capture in Los Mochis, a city in the northwestern state of Sinaloa, in January 2016.
Media reports said Lopez Nuñez, who was Guzman’s right-hand man, was in the best position within the criminal organization to take the top spot.
Lopez Nuñez, however, got into a power struggle with El Chapo’s sons and Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, who shared the Sinaloa cartel’s leadership with Guzman, who was extradited to the US on Jan. 19.
The war for control of the cartel between Lopez Nuñez and Guzman’s sons has left hundreds of people dead this year.
The Sinaloa cartel, sometimes referred to by Mexican officials as the Pacific cartel, is the oldest drug cartel in Mexico.
The Sinaloa organization, according to intelligence agencies, is a transnational business empire that operates in the United States, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the Americas and Asia.