Washington (AFP) - The former right hand man of notorious Mexican druglord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was sentenced Friday to life in prison, judicial sources said.
Damaso Lopez Nunez, known as "The Lawyer" when he worked for the ultra-violent Sinaloa cartel, had been convicted of trafficking by a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.
The 52-year-old was captured in Mexico in May last year and extradited to the United States two months later.
He was considered a potential witness against Guzman, who is currently on trial in New York.
According to the US Department of Justice, Lopez was the deputy head of a Mexican maximum security prison in 2001 when he helped Guzman escape. He then joined the cartel as Guzman's lieutenant.
In that role he took part in the production and shipment to the United States of tons of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines and marijuana, according to the US Justice Department.
He also directed some of the killings and kidnappings associated with the Sinaloa gang.
And he was linked to the May 15, 2017 murder of Mexican journalist Javier Valdez, an AFP contributor.