Ovidio Guzman Lopez is one of El Chapo’s four sons – dubbed “Los Chapitos” – who inherited his empire after he was convicted of murder and drugs charges in 2019. The notorious former cartel boss is serving a life sentence in a maximum security prison in Colorado.
The son of infamous drug lord “El Chapo” has appeared in court for the first time since being extradited to the US from Mexico.
Ovidio Guzman Lopez denied drug and money laundering when he appeared at a Chicago court on Monday – three days after he was brought to the US.
Guzman Lopez, 33, and his three brothers – collectively known as “Los Chapitos” – inherited their father’s empire after he was convicted of murder and drug charges in 2019.
Joaquin Guzman, commonly known as El Chapo, is the former leader of the notorious Sinaloa cartel. He was sentenced to life in prison and is serving his sentence at “super-max” jail in Colorado.
The brothers inherited their father’s multibillion-dollar empire when he was incarcerated, allegedly steering it into synthetic drugs including methamphetamine and the powerful opioid fentanyl, which has been blamed for killing almost 200 people in the US every day.
Guzman Lopez, known as “The Mouse”, and his siblings were all indicted by US prosecutors in April amid claims they produced huge amounts of fentanyl and sold the drug at its lowest price.
They operated a huge international trafficking operation that saw drugs transported to the US via airplane, submarines, fishing boats and rail cars, bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars in profits, it is alleged.
The brothers all deny the allegations and claim they are the “victims of persecution” and “scapegoats”.
“We have never produced, manufactured or commercialised fentanyl nor any of its derivatives,” they said in a statement.
The extradition of Guzman Lopez is “testament to the significance of the ongoing co-operation between the American and Mexican governments on countering narcotics and other vital challenges,” US Homeland Security advisor Liz Sherwood-Randall said.
Guzman Lopez was captured by Mexican security forces in Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state, in northwest Mexico, in January.