Drug trafficker sentenced to 17 years for smuggling cocaine and meth

Nelson Alexander Flores, a 52-year-old leader of the notorious MS-13 and Mexican Mafia gangs, was handed a sentence exceeding 17 years in federal prison in the United States last week. The sentencing came after prosecutors revealed that Flores was instrumental in the distribution of over 100 pounds of methamphetamine and cocaine monthly for the international street and prison gang.

From 2018 to May 2020, Flores, who hails from Tijuana, Mexico, and is known by multiple aliases including “Mula,” “El 40,” “Cuarenta,” “Juan,” and “Juanita,” was said to have coordinated the supply of methamphetamine from various sources in Mexico. The drugs were then disseminated across the United States on behalf of the MS-13 street gang and the Mexican Mafia prison gang.

Flores was sentenced to 210 months in relation to the international drug conspiracy. The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of California, which announced the sentence, noted that the maximum penalty for the Title 21 drug statute is life imprisonment and a $10 million fine.

Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew R. Haden stated that Flores imported the drugs into San Diego from Mexico, which were then distributed to other communities across the United States. He expressed pride in partnering with Joint Task Force Vulcan in the prosecution to combat the drug menace on behalf of the Southern District of California and the nation.

John Durham, Director of Joint Task Force Vulcan, added that Flores played a pivotal role in MS-13’s international drug operations by coordinating the importation and distribution of narcotics throughout the United States. His conviction and sentence mark a significant disruption in the operations of the gang.

In addition to his recent sentence, Flores is serving a five-year term in federal prison for his role in an MS-13 RICO case in the Southern District of Ohio. The court ruled that the term of imprisonment in the Southern District of California case will run consecutively with the one in Ohio.

Since its inception in August 2019, the Department of Justice stated that Joint Task Force Vulcan has successfully implemented a comprehensive approach to combating MS-13. This includes increased coordination with domestic and foreign law enforcement partners, targeted prosecutions, and significant MS-13 indictments.