Firearms Trafficker Who Supplied Sinaloa Cartel Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison

Federal courthouse
Federal courthouse in downtown San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

A man described by prosecutors as a “prolific firearms trafficker” who supplied the Sinaloa Cartel with hundreds of weapons was sentenced in San Diego federal court Wednesday to 15 years in prison.

Alfredo Lomas Navarrete, 33, of Culiacan, Mexico, was a gun runner for the Valenzuela Transnational Criminal Organization, described by the U.S. Attorney’s Office as a “significant component of the Sinaloa Cartel” and “one of the largest importers of cocaine into the United States.”

Prosecutors say Lomas Navarrete supplied the Valenzuela TCO with assault rifles, submachine guns, grenade launchers and more. Some of those weapons were purchased in the U.S. and smuggled into Mexico through ports of entry in San Diego and Arizona, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. He also provided the group with “tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition.”

San Diego U.S. Attorney Tara McGrath said in a statement, “The amount of cash, ammunition, and narcotics seized in this case is staggering.”

Along with cocaine, the Valenzuela TCO is accused of smuggling fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana into the United States.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said its investigation into the organization has resulted in charges against 109 defendants and the seizures of nearly 4,500 pounds of cocaine and fentanyl.

Lomas Navarrete pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiring to import cocaine, distribute cocaine, commit money laundering and to smuggle goods from the United States.