The Department of Justice confirmed in a statement, as well as a source with knowledge of the case, that Ovidio Guzmán, son of the drug trafficker Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, was extradited to the United States this Friday from Mexico.
In the statement, the U.S. Secretary of Justice, Merrick Garland, stated: “This measure is the most recent move in the Department of Justice’s effort to target all aspects of cartel operations. Today, as a result of the justice cooperation between the United States and Mexico, Ovidio Guzmán López, leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, has been extradited to the United States.”
Chicago landed on Friday afternoon and, according to CNN, Joseph D. Fitzpatrick, the Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, stated that Ovidio Guzmán López was transported by plane.
No se ha fijado una comparecencia inicial ante el tribunal, pero la oficina del fiscal federal espera que sea este lunes, dijo.
According to a statement released by the White House, Liz Sherwood-Randall, National Security Advisor to the US Government, said, “The extradition of López is evidence of the significance of the ongoing cooperation between the American and Mexican governments in the fight against drug trafficking and other vital challenges, and we appreciate our Mexican counterparts for their collaboration in the effort to protect our peoples from violent criminals.”
According to a government source who spoke to CNN, the General Prosecutor’s Office of Mexico officially received a request for extradition to the United States for Ovidio Guzmán in February of the previous year. Ovidio Guzmán was apprehended in a specialized operation conducted in Sinaloa in January, and he is accused in the US of conspiring to import and distribute narcotics in that nation, alongside his brother Joaquín Guzmán López.
Guzmán López also faces charges in Mexico for possession of Army-exclusive weapons and attempted homicide.
Sandoval pointed out in televised statements, “The alleged leader of the Los Menores faction, affiliated with the Pacific Cartel, arrested Ovidio. The General Attorney’s Office and the Public Security Secretariat of Sinaloa, in coordination with the National Intelligence Center, the Army, and the Mexican National Guard, confirmed the arrest of Ovidio Guzmán. Mexico’s Defense Secretary, Luis Cresencio Sandoval, confirmed the arrest on January 5th.”
Sandoval stated that the mission commenced in the early hours of the morning in the town of Jesús María, situated in the municipality of Culiacán, Sinaloa. As per the authorized account, members of the National Guard spotted armed individuals aboard multiple trucks, “some equipped with improvised armor”. He further mentioned that the agents informed the Ninth Military Zone with the intention of halting the convoy and inspecting its occupants.
The vehicles were surrounded and the individuals inside were asked to get out for inspection, as stated by Sandoval. Later on, he mentioned that these individuals refused and attacked the authorities.
He said in a press conference from Mexico City that they acted in accordance with the provisions of the national law on the use of force, when faced with a threat that was real, current, and imminent, endangering their lives.
After identifying López Guzmán as the individual detained by Mexican authorities, who was in possession of weapons and arrested, a joint operation was carried out by the National Guard and Army to control the “aggression”. Additionally, exclusive weapons were also seized along with Guzmán Ovidio, according to the agreement made by Sandoval.
The military personnel carried out ground reconnaissance in Culiacan, leading to the arrest of N Ovidio, a member of this criminal group known for their illicit activities in the area, after 6 months of detailed work in recognition of their influence.
The Armed Forces, including the 10th Air Base and the airport, registered 19 armed aggressions and blockades in the city of Culiacan after this detention, Sandoval added.