The son of notorious drug trafficker El Chapo has been extradited to Chicago from Mexico on charges of drug trafficking. Ovidio Guzman Lopez was charged in April along with two dozen others who are suspected of being a part of the Sinaloa Cartel. According to the lawsuit, the Sinaloa Cartel used chemicals shipped from China to fuel to fentanyl crisis here in the U.S. The cartel is believed to be responsible for importing 80% of the drugs found on Chicago streets over the past three decades.
Standoff Between Sinaloa and Mexican Police
U.S. authorities have wanted to extradite Guzman Lopez since 2019. He was captured by Mexican authorities in a small town outside the city of Culiacán. In 2019, Mexican authorities attempted to apprehend Guzman Lopez but the cartel fought back engaging in shootouts with Mexican authorities and military. The Mexican president ordered Guzman Lopez released to avoid further bloodshed.
El Chapo himself is currently serving a life sentence in an American prison for operating the largest and most notorious drug enterprise in the world. El Chapo’s sons now head the Sinaloa Cartel under his guidance from prison. His four sons are considered his most trusted partners in the Sinaloa Cartel.
Drug Trafficking Charges in Other Countries
The U.S. through the DEA can file charges against an individual from another country. The process is long and complex and it requires that the U.S. have an extradition treaty with the country in question. In this case, U.S. authorities sought to extradite El Chapo and his sons for running a criminal drug trafficking enterprise that flooded U.S. streets with illicit narcotics. These charges were filed in the U.S. and with the help of Mexican authorities, the United States was able to prosecute individuals from another country.
International extradition is the legal process by which one country seeks an individual wanted for prosecution from another country. The U.S. must have an extradition treaty with the country to file the complaint.
The process for extradition varies greatly depending on which country is being asked to turn over their citizen. In most cases, extradition consists of a judicial and executive phase. After the extraditee has been located and arrested, the case would enter the judicial phase. During the judicial phase, a court would decide whether the extradition request meets the requirements of the extradition treaty. If it does, then the case enters the executive phase in which the country decides whether or not to turn over its citizens. If they do, then a surrender order will be initiated.
The U.S. and Mexico have an extradition treaty that was signed in 1978. So, the DEA can file charges against those who traffick drugs onto U.S. streets from Mexico. They serve sentences in American prisons and face American charges.
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