Ovidio Guzmán López, one of the sons of notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán, has been extradited to the United States to face federal drug charges. Guzmán López was arrested in Culiacán, Mexico, nine months ago and was recently sent to Chicago for trial. This extradition marks the first time that any of El Chapo’s four sons have been extradited to the US.
The Guzmán family has been on the radar of American authorities since El Chapo’s arrest and conviction in 2019. After the trial, investigators intensified their focus on El Chapo’s sons, collectively known as Los Chapitos, who inherited parts of their father’s drug empire. Multiple indictments were filed against them in Washington, Chicago, and New York.
The charges against Ovidio Guzmán López in Chicago draw on evidence collected by investigators from multiple cities and include drug sales and violent crimes dating back to 2008. Guzmán López is expected to appear in Federal District Court in Chicago on Monday, where he will be represented by attorney Jeffrey Lichtman, who also represented his father.
The extradition of Guzmán López is a significant development in the attempts to prosecute Los Chapitos. The interagency rivalries among prosecutors resulted in multiple indictments and missed opportunities. Guzmán López’s trial in Chicago is a loss for New York prosecutors who had filed sweeping charges against him and his brothers for trafficking fentanyl across the border. The fate of the New York indictment is now uncertain.
According to prosecutors, after El Chapo’s arrest, Guzmán López and his brothers took over the leadership of the Sinaloa drug cartel, along with two of their father’s partners who remain at large. The Chicago indictment accuses Guzmán López of being a logistical coordinator for the cartel, overseeing the transportation of drugs into the United States and laundering drug proceeds.
While it remains uncertain whether Guzmán López’s extradition will significantly impact the cartel’s activities, it brings closure to the previous failed arrest that resulted in a violent siege in Culiacán. It is important to note that not only El Chapo and his sons have faced scrutiny from federal investigators but also El Chapo’s former wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, who recently pleaded guilty and was sentenced to prison.
This latest development in the ongoing saga surrounding the Guzmán family showcases the efforts of US authorities to dismantle the Sinaloa drug cartel and hold its members accountable. With the trial of Ovidio Guzmán López set to begin, it remains to be seen how the proceedings will unfold and whether they will bring justice for the crimes allegedly committed by the sons of El Chapo.