MEXICO CITY — Mexico extradited Ovidio Guzmán López, a son of former Sinaloa cartel chief Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán, to america on Friday to face drug trafficking, cash laundering and different fees, U.S. Legal professional Common Merrick Garland stated in an announcement.
“This motion is the latest step within the Justice Division’s effort to assault each facet of the cartel’s operations,” Garland stated.
The Mexican authorities didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
Mexican safety forces captured Guzmán López, alias “the Mouse,” in January in Culiacan, capital of Sinaloa state, the cartel’s namesake.
Three years earlier, the federal government had tried to seize him, however aborted the operation after his cartel allies set off a wave of violence in Culiacan.
January’s arrest set off related violence that killed 30 individuals in Culiacan, together with 10 navy personnel. The military used Black Hawk helicopter gunships in opposition to the cartel’s truck-mounted .50-caliber machine weapons. Cartel gunmen hit two navy plane forcing them to land and despatched gunmen to town’s airport the place navy and civilian plane have been hit by gunfire.
On Friday, Garland acknowledged the regulation enforcement and navy members who had given their lives within the U.S. and Mexico. “The Justice Division will proceed to carry accountable these answerable for fueling the opioid epidemic that has devastated too many communities throughout the nation.”
Mike Vigil, former head of worldwide operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration, stated he believed the Mexican authorities facilitated the extradition, as a result of for somebody of Guzmán López’s excessive profile it normally takes not less than two years to win extradition as attorneys make quite a few filings as a delaying tactic.
“This occurred faster than regular,” Vigil stated, noting that some conservative members of the U.S. Congress had raised the concept of U.S. navy intervention if Mexico didn’t do extra to cease the movement of medication. Vigil dismissed that concept as “political theater,” however steered it added stress on Mexico to behave.
Homeland Safety Adviser Liz Sherwood-Randall stated in assertion that the extradition “is testomony to the importance of the continuing cooperation between the American and Mexican governments on countering narcotics and different very important challenges, and we thank our Mexican counterparts for his or her partnership in working to safeguard our peoples from violent criminals.”
Sherwood-Randall made a number of visits to Mexico this yr to fulfill with President Andrés Manuel López-Obrador, most lately final month.
In April, U.S. prosecutors unsealed sprawling indictments in opposition to Guzmán and his brothers, identified collectively because the “Chapitos.” They specified by element how following their father’s extradition and eventual life sentence within the U.S., the brothers steered the cartel more and more into artificial medicine like methamphetamine and the highly effective artificial opioid fentanyl.
The indictment unsealed in Manhattan stated their purpose was to provide enormous portions of fentanyl and promote it on the lowest worth. Fentanyl is so low cost to make that the cartel reaps immense earnings even wholesaling the drug at 50 cents per capsule, prosecutors stated. The brothers denied the allegations in a letter.
The Chapitos turned identified for grotesque violence that appeared to surpass any notions of restraint proven by earlier generations of cartel leaders.
Vigil described Guzmán López as a mid-level chief within the cartel and never even the chief of the brothers.
“It’s a symbolic victory nevertheless it’s not going to have any impression in any respect on the Sinaloa cartel,” he stated. “It is going to proceed to operate, it can proceed to ship medicine into america, particularly being the biggest producers of fentanyl.”
Fentanyl has turn into a high precedence within the bilateral safety relationship. However López Obrador has described his nation as a transit level for precursors coming from China and sure for the U.S., regardless of assertions by the U.S. authorities and his personal navy about fentanyl manufacturing in Mexico.
López Obrador blames a deterioration of household values within the U.S. for the excessive ranges of drug addiction in that nation.
An estimated 109,680 overdose deaths occurred final yr in america, based on numbers from the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. About 75,000 of these have been linked to fentanyl and different artificial opioids.
Cheap fentanyl is more and more minimize into different medicine, usually with out the consumers’ information.
Mexico’s fentanyl seizures sometimes come when the drug has already been pressed into drugs and is headed for the U.S. border.
U.S. prosecutors allege a lot of the manufacturing happens in and round Culiacan, the place the Sinaloa cartel exerts close to full management.