A son of Mexican drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, who was arrested after a bloody firefight with Mexican authorities earlier this year, has been extradited to Chicago.
He is expected to face sweeping narcotics trafficking charges.
Ovidio Guzman Lopez, 32, is reputed to have taken over the powerful Sinaloa cartel after his father’s arrest seven years ago.
He is one of four El Chapo sons, nicknamed the “Chapitos,” charged in an indictment unsealed in Chicago earlier this year.
Of the sons, Guzman Lopez, who is known as “El Raton,” or “The Mouse,” was the only one in custody.
He was captured in Culiacán, Mexico in January after an intense battle that left 10 soldiers and 19 suspects dead, according to news reports.
Guzman Lopez, who was being held in Mexico pending extradition proceedings, was flown to Chicago on Friday afternoon, according to a law enforcement source.
He could make an initial appearance at the Dirksen US Courthouse as soon as Monday.
A lawyer for Guzman Lopez was not listed on the court docket as of Friday.
Guzman Lopez was among 28 reputed members of the notorious Sinaloa cartel charged as part of a multi-jurisdictional fentanyl-trafficking investigation unveiled in April.
Attorney General Merrick Garland; U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration chief Anne Milgram; and other top federal prosecutors, including acting Chicago U.S. Attorney Morris Pasqual launched the investigation.
In outlining the charges, Garland described the violence of the Sinaloa cartel and how its members have tortured perceived enemies, including Mexican law enforcement officials.
In some cases, cartel members also have fed victims, some still alive, to tigers owned by Guzmán’s sons, Garland said.