Son of Mexican druglord ‘El Chapo’ pleads not guilty in US court

Picture shows Ovidio Guzman, son of jailed drug kingpin Joaquin 'Chapo' Guzman, after his arrest on January 5 in the north-western city of Culiacan, Mexico. – AFP/Secretary of National Defence of Mexico handout, September 19, 2023.

OVIDIO Guzman Lopez, the son of the Sinaloa Cartel kingpin known as “El Chapo,” pleaded not guilty to US drug charges yesterday, officials said.

Guzman Lopez, 33, whose father Joaquin Guzman is serving a life sentence in a US prison, was extradited to the United States from Mexico on Friday.

Guzman Lopez entered a not guilty plea on Monday in a US District court in Chicago to multiple drug trafficking, money laundering and firearms charges, the Justice Department said in a statement.

Known as “El Raton” or “The Mouse”, he is accused of conspiring to ship cocaine, fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana into the United States.

His father was extradited to the United States in 2017 and convicted in 2019 of running what was believed to be the world’s biggest narcotics syndicate.

After Guzman’s conviction, several of his sons, collectively known as the “Chapitos,” or “The Little Chapos,” inherited control of the Sinaloa Cartel, according to the US authorities.

Three of the 66-year-old Joaquin Guzman’s other sons have also been indicted in the United States.

Security agents captured Guzman Lopez in the Sinaloa city of Culiacan on January 5.

Following his arrest, cartel members set vehicles on fire and created mayhem, an echo of the massive shootouts in 2019 when the younger Guzman was briefly detained but then freed to avoid bloodshed.

Guzman Lopez was extradited to the United States just days after his father’s wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, was released from a halfway house in California after serving nearly two years of a three-year prison sentence for drug trafficking and money laundering.

Coronel, 34, who is not Guzman Lopez’ mother, is a dual US-Mexican citizen. – AFP, September 19, 2023.

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