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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Sinaloa Cartel Leader, El Chapo’s Son Extradited to the U.S.

The U.S. Department of State had offered a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Ovidio Guzmán-López. 

Ovidio Guzmán-López, son of Joaquin Guzman Loera, aka “El Chapo,” has been extradited from Mexico to the United States, the Justice Department announced yesterday.

“Today, as a result of United States and Mexico law enforcement cooperation, Ovidio Guzmán-López, a leader of the Sinaloa Cartel was extradited to the United States,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland on September 15. “This action is the most recent step in the Justice Department’s effort to attack every aspect of the cartel’s operations. 

“The fight against the cartels has involved incredible courage by United States law enforcement and Mexican law enforcement and military service members, many of whom have given their lives in the pursuit of justice. I am grateful to them and to the Department’s prosecutors for their work and their sacrifice. I am also grateful to our Mexican government counterparts for this extradition.

“The Justice Department will continue to hold accountable those responsible for fueling the opioid epidemic that has devastated too many communities across the country.”

The U.S. Department of State had offered a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Ovidio Guzmán-López.   

According to State Department intelligence, Ovidio and his brother, Joaquín Guzmán-López, are known for functioning in high-level command and control roles of their own drug trafficking organization, the Guzmán-López Transnational Criminal Organization, under the umbrella of the Sinaloa Cartel. The Guzmán-López brothers began their narcotics trafficking careers early by inheriting relationships from their deceased brother, Edgar Guzmán-López.  Following Edgar’s death, Ovidio and Joaquín inherited a great deal of the narcotics proceeds and began investing large amounts of the cash into the purchasing of marijuana in Mexico and cocaine in Colombia.  They also began purchasing large amounts of ephedrine from Argentina and arranged for the smuggling of the product into Mexico as they began to experiment with methamphetamine production. 

The State Department also notes that the Guzmán-López brothers oversee approximately eleven methamphetamine labs in the state of Sinaloa producing an estimated 3,000- 5,000 pounds of methamphetamine per month. The methamphetamine is sold wholesale to other Sinaloa members and to U.S.- and Canadian-based distributors.  Other information indicates that Ovidio Guzmán-López has ordered the murders of informants, a drug trafficker, and a popular Mexican singer who had refused to sing at his wedding.  

Read the statement at the Department of Justice

Kylie Bielby
Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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