Ovidio Guzman Lopez, 33, of Culiacan, Mexico, was arraigned in federal court in Chicago today after his extradition from Mexico to the United States on Sept. 15. In January, Guzman Lopez was arrested in Mexico pursuant to a U.S. request for his provisional arrest with a view toward extradition.
Guzman Lopez, also known as El Raton and Raton Nuevo, faces charges in the Northern District of Illinois. He is named in a twelve-count indictment, with five counts against him. The indictment alleges that from approximately May 2008 until at least October 21, 2021, Guzman Lopez was involved in a Continuing Criminal Enterprise (CCE) related to drug trafficking. In addition to the CCE charge, he is also facing charges related to drug distribution, money laundering, and firearms offenses. Specifically, Guzman Lopez is accused of conspiring to distribute cocaine, heroin methamphetamine and marijuana from various sources including Mexico for importation into the United States.
According to the terms of the extradition treaty between the United States and Mexico, there was a 60-day window for the United States to present a fully supported request that adhered to the provisions outlined in the treaty. The United States fulfilled this requirement by submitting their request in February 2023. Subsequently, a Mexican court reviewed this request and issued a favorable recommendation for his extradition last month. Following this review, the Foreign Ministry also reached the same conclusion that Guzman Lopez should be extradited to the United States.On September 15th, Guzman Lopez was extradited from Mexico to face charges in the United States. Today, he appeared before U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman of Northern District of Illinois where he pleaded not guilty during his arraignment hearing. He chose to waive his right to have a detention hearing and has been ordered to remain detained without bond while awaiting further proceedings.
Guzman Lopez, one of the sons of Joaquin Guzman Loera, known as El Chapo, was found guilty by a jury in the Eastern District of New York for his involvement in leading the Sinaloa Cartel. After Guzman Loera's arrest in January 2016 and extradition to the United States in January 2017, Guzman Lopez and his three brothers - Ivan Archivaldo Guzman Salazar, Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar, and Joaquin Guzman Lopez (also referred to as "the Chapitos") - allegedly took over their father's previous position as leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel. Alongside Zambada Garcia and Damaso Lopez Nunez (aka Licenciado), who are also named defendants in the indictment, they gained greater control over the cartel by reportedly threatening and perpetrating violence against Lopez Nunez, his family members, and associates. Consequently, they rose to become primary figures within both leadership and drug trafficking operations within the Sinaloa Cartel.
In the Southern District of New York, Guzman Lopez faced charges related to multiple criminal activities. These include continuing criminal enterprise, conspiracy to import fentanyl, conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, possession of machineguns and destructive devices, and involvement in money laundering conspiracies.
The continuous endeavors of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) have led to the development of this case. The OCDETF is a collaboration that combines the specialized knowledge and distinct capabilities of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.