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HomeWorld NewsEl Chapo’s Sons Face Sweeping New Prices in Fentanyl Indictments

El Chapo’s Sons Face Sweeping New Prices in Fentanyl Indictments

Federal officers introduced a flurry of fees on Friday towards the 4 sons of the infamous Mexican drug lord generally known as El Chapo, saying the boys have been main their imprisoned father’s empire and have been answerable for shifting huge portions of fentanyl into and all through the US.

Lawyer Basic Merrick B. Garland mentioned at a information convention in Washington that along with the 4 sons — collectively generally known as Los Chapitos — federal indictments in Manhattan, Chicago and Washington had charged greater than two dozen different folks in what he described as a world fentanyl manufacturing and distribution operation run by the Sinaloa drug cartel. El Chapo, whose actual identify is Joaquín Guzmán Loera, led the group for years and after his conviction in Brooklyn in 2019 is serving life in jail in the US.

Mr. Garland mentioned the defendants named within the 5 separate indictments included suppliers in China who offered so-called precursor chemical compounds utilized in manufacturing fentanyl; a dealer primarily based in Guatemala who purchased the chemical compounds on behalf of the Chapitos; operators of clandestine fentanyl labs in Mexico; and a weapons provider who offered the cartel with weapons smuggled into Mexico from the US.

The indictments, taken collectively, offered a panoramic view of how fentanyl was created, transported and finally offered on the road in cities from New York to Nashville to Los Angeles. The fees famous that the fentanyl enterprise earned the cartel hundreds of thousands of {dollars} whereas inflicting as many as 200 deaths in the US every day.

“The Justice Division is attacking each facet of the cartel’s operations,” Mr. Garland mentioned.

The fees additionally gave a taste of the violence and terror that has ravaged Mexico for years and supported the Sinaloa cartel’s fentanyl enterprise. The indictments mentioned that assassins working for Mr. Guzmán’s sons murdered regulation enforcement officers, tortured rivals with electrocution, stuffed chiles into the injuries of a few of their victims and even fed others — each lifeless and alive — to their pet tigers.

Anne Milgram, the top of the Drug Enforcement Administration, mentioned on the information convention that the sons had inherited their father’s “world drug trafficking empire” and remodeled it by pioneering a novel product.

“They made it extra ruthless, extra violent, extra lethal — they usually used it to unfold a brand new poison, fentanyl,” Ms. Milgram mentioned.

A lawyer for the 4 sons declined to touch upon the brand new fees.

The brand new indictments got here at a second of a excessive rigidity between U.S. and Mexican officers over their deteriorating law-enforcement relationship — and specifically, the difficulty of who was in charge for the scourge of fentanyl.

Ms. Milgram lashed out in February on the Mexican authorities, complaining that officers there had supplied no help to U.S. brokers engaged on instances involving fentanyl from Mexico. Inside weeks, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico shot again with baseless claims that his nation had nothing to do with the drug.

“Right here, we don’t produce fentanyl,” he mentioned.

At his information convention, Mr. Garland mentioned straight, “The Sinaloa cartel is basically answerable for the surge of fentanyl into the US during the last eight years.”

He credited the Mexican authorities for its cooperation within the U.S. effort, saying that Justice Division officers had met in Washington on Thursday with Mexico’s secretaries of protection and inside safety, its lawyer basic and its overseas minister.

The indictments unsealed on Friday weren’t the primary fees introduced towards Mr. Guzmán’s sons. Like their father, who was charged in seven instances in seven cities earlier than his eventual conviction in Federal District Court docket in Brooklyn, they’re now dealing with a number of indictments in a number of jurisdictions.

One of many sons, Ovidio Guzmán López, was dealing with fees along with his brother Joaquín Guzmán López, unsealed in Federal District Court docket in Washington in 2019, days after their father was discovered responsible. Lengthy generally known as the least completed of Mr. Guzmán’s youngsters, Ovidio Guzmán López was arrested by the Mexican authorities in January in Culiacán, a northwestern metropolis that has served for many years as the house base of the Sinaloa cartel.

Two of Mr. Guzmán’s different sons by a unique spouse — Iván Archivaldo Guzmán Salazar and Jesús Alfredo Guzmán Salazar — have been named on Friday in two separate indictments in Chicago and Manhattan. The Chicago case additionally included Joaquín Guzmán López as a defendant.

Iván was already dealing with fees filed in 2014 in San Diego, and Jesús Alfredo had been charged in 2015 in Chicago. Each stay at massive in Mexico, as does Joaquín.

The sons took management of a faction of their father’s fractured empire after his extradition to the US in 2017, on the day earlier than Donald J. Trump took workplace. Usually derided within the Mexican information media as playboys and unworthy successors to the household patriarch, they nonetheless created a thriving commerce in fentanyl, U.S. regulation enforcement officers say, whereas navigating the treacherous relations with different prime cartel figures, together with Mr. Guzmán’s brother, Aurelio, and his longtime enterprise associate, Ismael Zambada García.

The trial of Mr. Guzmán, which sprawled over three months, laid naked the depravity on the coronary heart of the Sinaloa cartel as witnesses described how its assassins seared folks with irons and burned them alive in bonfires.

The brand new indictments painted Mr. Guzmán’s sons in the same mild.

They accused Iván of telling his associates that the cartel wished to “flood the US with fentanyl so as to provide ‘streets of junkies’” and famous that the cartel generally examined its product on certain captives.

The indictments additionally mentioned that assassins loyal to the sons had gone to nice lengths to stop their arrests, “together with drawing the Mexican navy into gunfights, killing troopers, and burning autos to create roadblocks.”

“We take intention on the Sinaloa cartel and the worldwide community of loss of life that feeds it,” Damian Williams, the U.S. lawyer for the Southern District of New York, mentioned on the information convention on Friday.

Glenn Thrush contributed reporting.



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