Son of 'El Chapo' extradited to United States from Mexico

Mexican authorities have extradited high-ranking Sinaloa Cartel leader Ovidio Guzman-Lopez to the United States. He is the son of imprisoned drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. Photo Courtesy of U.S. Department of State

Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Mexican officials have extradited high-ranking Sinaloa cartel leader Ovidio Guzman-Lopez, son of convicted drug kingpin Joaquin 'El Chapo" Guzman, to the United States.

White House Homeland Security Advisor Liz Sherwood-Randall announced in statement Friday that U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials have "successfully transferred custody" of Guzman-Lopez to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The son of "El Chapo" "has been indicted for drug trafficking, money laundering, and other violent crimes," Sherwood-Randall said in a statement.

In January, Mexican federal forces captured Guzman-Lopez in the Jesus Maria neighborhood of Culiacan, Mexico. When news of the arrest broke, gun battles broke out in the region leading to more than a dozen deaths.

"The extradition of Lopez is testament to the significance of the ongoing cooperation between the American and Mexican governments on countering narcotics and other vital challenges, and we thank our Mexican counterparts for their partnership in working to safeguard our peoples from violent criminals," Sherwood-Randall said.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland praised the joint efforts of U.S. and Mexican law enforcement.

"This action is the most recent step in the Justice Department's effort to attack every aspect of the cartel's operations," he said in a statement Friday. "The fight against the cartels has involved incredible courage by United States law enforcement and Mexican law enforcement and military servicemembers, many of whom have given their lives in the pursuit of justice."

Earlier this week, Joaquin Guzman's wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, was released from a halfway house in California.

"El Chapo" himself is currently serving a life sentence at the federal Supermax facility in Colorado.