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El Chapo's son pleads not guilty to US drug and money laundering charges

2023-09-19 11:22:00, Kosova & Bota CNA

El Chapo's son pleads not guilty to US drug and money laundering charges

Ovidio Guzmán López, the son of former Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán, pleaded not guilty in Chicago on Monday to drug trafficking, money laundering and other charges pending against him.

Guzmán López was extradited on Friday, five months after US prosecutors opened multiple indictments against him and his brothers, known collectively as the "Chapitos". 

The indictments allege that after their father's extradition and eventual life sentence in the US in 2019, the brothers steered the cartel increasingly toward synthetic drugs such as methamphetamine and the powerful opioid fentanyl.

He stood before US District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman in an orange jumpsuit and matching orange slippers.

His arrest by Mexican security forces in January in Culiacan sparked violence that left 30 people dead, including 10 military personnel. 

Cartel gunmen shot down two military planes and sent gunmen to the city's airport, where military and civilian planes were hit with gunfire.

National Security Adviser Liz Sherwood-Randall said in a statement Friday that the extradition of Guzmán López "is testament to the importance of continued cooperation between the US and Mexican governments in the fight against narcotics and other vital challenges." Sherwood-Randall has made multiple visits to Mexico this year to meet with President Andrés Manuel López-Obrador, most recently last month./ CNA

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