MS-13 and Mexican Mafia Leader Sentenced to More than 17 Years for an International Drug Conspiracy

SAN DIEGO – Nelson Alexander Flores of Tijuana was sentenced in federal court to 210 months in prison for trafficking large quantities of methamphetamine into the United States from Mexico on behalf of MS-13 street gang and the Mexican Mafia prison gang.

According to information presented in court, between 2018 and May 2020, Flores coordinated with and supplied others with pound quantities of methamphetamine from various sources in Mexico, which was then distributed throughout the United States.

Flores is also serving a five-year sentence in federal prison for his role in an MS-13 RICO case to which he pleaded guilty in the Southern District of Ohio in United States v. Aguilar-River, et al., case no. 2:17-CR-164.

The court ruled that Flores’ term of imprisonment in the Southern District of California case will run consecutive to the term of imprisonment in the Southern District of Ohio RICO case.

“This defendant was responsible for moving more than 100 pounds of methamphetamine and cocaine a month on behalf of violent international street and prison gangs,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew R. Haden. “He imported these drugs into San Diego from Mexico, before they were sent to poison other communities throughout the United States. We were proud to partner with Joint Task Force Vulcan in this prosecution to fight back on behalf of the Southern District of California and our nation.”

“The MS-13, Mexican Mafia, and their criminal partners fuel their criminal activities through the illicit importation and sale of narcotics,” said Director of Joint Task Force Vulcan (JTFV) John Durham. “Mr. Flores played a key role in MS-13’s international drug operations by coordinating the importation and distribution of narcotics throughout the United States, and his conviction and sentence mark a significant disruption. JTFV and our law enforcement partners will continue to work relentlessly to protect our communities from the plague of transnational organized crime.”

Since its creation in August 2019, JTFV has successfully implemented a whole-of-government approach to combatting MS-13, including increasing coordination and collaboration with domestic and foreign law enforcement partners; designating priority MS-13 programs, cliques and leaders, who have the most impact on the United States, for targeted prosecutions; and coordinating significant MS-13 indictments, including the first use of national security charges against MS-13 leaders. JTFV has been comprised of members from U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country, including this Office; the Eastern District of New York; the Eastern District of Texas; the District of New Jersey; the Northern District of Ohio; the District of Utah; the District of Massachusetts; the Southern District of Florida; the District of Alaska; the Southern District of California; the District of Nevada; the Eastern District of Virginia; and the District of Columbia, as well as the Department of Justice’s National Security Division and the Criminal Division. All Department of Justice law enforcement agencies are involved in the effort, including the FBI; DEA; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the U.S. Marshals Service; and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. In addition, HSI plays a critical role in JTFV.