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Press Release

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Appoints Maria Chapa Lopez As Interim United States Attorney

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, FL – Attorney General Jeff Sessions today announced the appointment of Maria Chapa Lopez as Interim United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 546, which provides that “the Attorney General may appoint a United States Attorney for the district in which the office of United States Attorney is vacant.”  This appointment will take effect on January 5, 2018.


“With one American dying of a drug overdose every nine minutes, we are facing the deadliest drug crisis in American history,” said Attorney General Sessions.  “I am appointing today, as Interim U.S. Attorney, someone with a lot of experience taking dangerous drugs off of our streets. Maria Chapa Lopez has secured convictions of Columbian cocaine smugglers, Tampa crack dealers, and doctors and pharmacists overprescribing and illegally dispensing opioids.  This is incredible work and I am convinced it has saved lives.  She will undoubtedly keep up this good work as Interim U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida.”


Ms. Chapa Lopez has worked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the MDFL for the past 16 years, from April 2000 to April 2016, prosecuting transnational drug trafficking organizations, complex domestic narcotics trafficking cases, large-scale money laundering cases, and complex opioid cases. From April 2016 to the present, Ms. Chapa Lopez has been the DOJ Deputy Attaché in the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, she served in the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.


Ms. Chapa Lopez received her B.A. from the University of Texas, her J.D. from South Texas College of Law, and her L.L.M. from the Judge Advocate General’s School, in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Upon the appointment of Ms. Chapa Lopez as Interim United States Attorney, Acting United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow will resume his role as First Assistant United States Attorney.


Updated January 4, 2018

Office and Personnel Updates