The son of notorious Mexican cartel boss Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán was extradited to the US Friday to face a series of drug trafficking and money laundering charges.
Ovidio Guzmán López, 32, was transferred from a maximum security prison in Mexico, where he had been held on suspicion of leading the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel founded by his father.
He arrived in Chicago on Friday afternoon, a law enforcement source told the Chicago Sun-Times.
“This action is the most recent step in the Justice Department’s effort to attack every aspect of the cartel’s operations,” US Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement.
Nicknamed “El Ratón,” or “The Mouse,” Guzmán López, was arrested by Mexican security forces in January in Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state, the cartel’s namesake.
He was taken to a maximum security prison over 700 miles away, where he complained the conditions were “cruel and unfair.”
His capture triggered an outbreak of gang violence that killed at least 30 people, including 10 military personnel.
The Mexican army used Black Hawk helicopter gunships against the cartel’s truck-mounted .50-caliber machine guns. ‘
Cartel gunmen hit two military aircraft forcing them to land and sent gunmen to the city’s airport where military and civilian aircraft were hit by gunfire.
Homeland Security Adviser Liz Sherwood-Randall said in a statement that the extradition “is testament to the significance of the ongoing cooperation between the American and Mexican governments on countering narcotics and other vital challenges, and we thank our Mexican counterparts for their partnership in working to safeguard our peoples from violent criminals.”
Guzmán López’s extradition comes just days after the 33-year-old’s father’s wife, Emma Coronel, was released from jail in the US after being sentenced in November 2021 on drug trafficking charges.
El Chapo is serving a life sentence at a “supermax” prison in Colorado for leading the Sinaloa cartel.
The US has been searching for Guzmán López for years — even promising a $5 million reward for his whereabouts.
Guzmán López has reportedly been involved in his father’s nefarious business since his teen years.
Together with his brothers, he is thought to control 11 methamphetamine labs in Sinaloa that produce up to 5,000 pounds of the deadly drug per month.
Known as the “Chapitos,” the brothers were named in an April indictment accusing them of trying to produce huge quantities of fentanyl and sell it at the lowest price.
An estimated 109,680 overdose deaths occurred last year in the United States, according to numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 75,000 of those were linked to fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.
US prosecutors allege much of the production occurs in and around Culiacan, where the Sinaloa cartel exerts near-complete control.
With Post wires
This article was originally posted here