Mexico extradited Ovidio Guzmn Lpez, a son of former Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquin El Chapo Guzmn, to the United States on Friday to face drug trafficking charges, U.S. Atty. Gen. Merrick Garland said in a statement.
This action is the most recent step in the Justice Departments effort to attack every aspect of the cartels operations, Garland said.
The Mexican government did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Mexican security forces captured Guzmn Lpez, alias the Mouse, in January in Culiacan, capital of Sinaloa state, the cartels namesake.
Januarys arrest set off similar violence that killed 30 people in Culiacan, including 10 military personnel.
The army used Black Hawk helicopter gunships against the cartels truck-mounted .50-caliber machine guns. Cartel gunmen hit two military aircraft forcing them to land and sent gunmen to the citys airport where military and civilian aircraft were hit by gunfire.
The capture came just days before U.S. President Biden visited Mexico for bilateral talks followed by the North American Leaders Summit.
On Friday, Garland recognized the law enforcement and military members who had given their lives in the U.S. and Mexico. “The Justice Department will continue to hold accountable those responsible for fueling the opioid epidemic that has devastated too many communities across the country.
In April, U.S. prosecutors unsealed sprawling indictments against Guzmn and his brothers, known collectively as the Chapitos. They laid out in detail how following their fathers extradition and eventual life sentence in the U.S., the brothers steered the cartel increasingly into synthetic drugs like methamphetamine and the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl.
The indictment unsealed in Manhattan said their goal was to produce huge quantities of fentanyl and sell it at the lowest price. Fentanyl is so cheap to make that the cartel reaps immense profits even wholesaling the drug at 50 cents per pill, prosecutors said. The brothers denied the allegations in a letter.
The Chapitos became known for grotesque violence that appeared to surpass any notions of restraint shown by earlier generations of cartel leaders.
Fentanyl has become a top priority in the bilateral security relationship. But Mexican President Andrs Manuel Lpez Obrador has denied assertions by the U.S. government and his own military about fentanyl production in Mexico, instead describing the country as a transit point for precursors coming from China and bound for the U.S.
Lpez Obrador blames a deterioration of family values in the U.S. for the high levels of drug addiction in that country.