Longtime federal prosecutor Maria Chapa Lopez has been selected by President Donald Trump to serve as U.S. attorney in the sprawling Middle District of Florida, according to an announcement Thursday by the White House.
Chapa Lopez worked as an assistant U.S. attorney from 2000 to 2016, before a nearly two-year stint as a Department of Justice deputy attache in the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. She currently serves as interim U.S. attorney in the Middle District, which stretches from Fort Myers to Jacksonville and includes Orlando and Tampa.
Her selection by Trump is subject to U.S. Senate confirmation. Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, of Florida, quickly issued a statement Thursday supporting the pick.
“She has significant experience in this (Middle District) office and has been integral in prosecuting and dismantling drug trafficking and money laundering operations and has most recently helped lead the Department of Justice’s efforts to stop heroin, fentanyl, and human trafficking into the United States,” Rubio said. “With her knowledge and expertise, I am confident she will honorably serve the people’s interests in the Middle District of Florida.”