Three sons of the notorious drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman have been charged over drug trafficking by the US Justice Department.
Ovidio Guzman Lopez, Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar and Ivan Archivaldo Guzman Salazar are known as the Chapitos – or little Chapo ‘s – and have earned a reputation as the more violent and aggressive faction of the cartel.
Of the three, only Guzman Lopez is in custody in Mexico.
Attorney General Merrick Garland, standing alongside Drug Enforcement Administration chief Anne Milgram unveiled the indictments in three districts aimed at hitting the cartel’s global network.
The defendants are part of a complex manufacturing and supply network including Chinese and Guatemalan citizens accused of supplying precursor chemicals required to make fentanyl, as well as those suspected of running drug labs in Mexico and others accused of providing security, weapons and financing for the operation.
The wide-ranging case comes as the US remains in the grip of a devastating overdose crisis largely by fentanyl poisonings.
Nearly 107,000 people died of drug overdoses in the US in 2021, a record number.