By David Amoruso for Gangsters Inc.
The story of a successful narco kingpin always has the same arc. There is the rise and the inevitable fall. The fall comes in the form of death or prison. No amount of power, money, bloodshed or a combination of all three can stop that. Not even when you are the son of “El Chapo”, the man once seen as the most powerful crime boss on the planet.
33-year-old Ovidio Guzman Lopez arrived in the United States yesterday after his extradition from Mexico. He faces a litany of drug trafficking charges.
Rise of Los Chapitos, Fall of Ovidio
Ovidio decided to follow in the footsteps of his father, drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, and succeeded in becoming one of the Sinaloa Cartel’s chief bosses alongside his other brothers. Together they were nicknamed “Los Chapitos”. As they established control over their territory, they developed a reputation for extreme violence.
Authorities were eager to take Ovidio and his brothers down. In October of 2019 Mexican federal security forces arrested Ovidio in Culiacan. But things quickly escalated beyond the Mexican government’s control. When word of his arrest got out, Sinaloa Cartel sicarios occupied the city.
They threw up roadblocks and used military-grade weapons to attack the Guardia Nacional, local police, and the army. The Sinaloa Cartel effectively held the city hostage. This was their territory and they wanted their leader back. Authorities felt compelled to agree and released Ovidio several hours after his arrest. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he supported the release as it would “prevent more bloodshed”.
It seemed Ovidio was untouchable. Until January of 2023, when he was arrested again. Once more his cartel underlings caused chaos on the streets. Schools were closed and local government activities were canceled. The Mexican military even had to close Culiacan International Airport after gunmen began shooting at a military plane and a passenger plane of AeroMexico.
The Mexican government held tight this time and managed to keep Ovidio behind bars until he was extradited to the United States. That moment arrived on Friday when he was handed over to U.S. authorities.
In April of this year, Ovidio, his brothers, and several other Sinaloa Cartel bosses and henchmen were indicted by federal prosecutors. They were alleged to have been engaged in drug trafficking activities into the United States, and violence, spanning over a decade and a half. The Chapitos are alleged to have repeatedly and consistently transported lethal amounts of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and fentanyl.
A network of couriers, tunnels, and stash houses throughout Mexico and the United States was used to further their drug trafficking activities. The Chapitos allegedly used these networks to import the drugs into the United States.
“The Chapitos pioneered the manufacture and trafficking of fentanyl – the deadliest drug threat our country has ever faced – flooded it into the United States for the past eight years and killed hundreds of thousands of Americans,” added DEA Administrator Anne Milgram at the time.
UPDATE - SEPTEMBER 19: On Monday, September 18, Ovidio stood in a Chicago courtroom wearing an orange jumpsuit and orange slippers, his legs shackled at the ankles, and pleaded not guilty.
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