With the conviction of one of Mexico’s most notorious drug lords behind them, United States authorities are now going after his sons.
A week after the conclusion of the three-month trial of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, two of his sons were indicted yesterday on drug conspiracy charges by the United States Justice Department.
Joaquín Guzmán López, 34, and Ovidio Guzmán López, 28, are accused of conspiring to import and distribute cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana from Mexico and elsewhere into the United States between 2008 and 2018.
U.S. authorities believe that both siblings are living as fugitives in Mexico. The move against them indicates the U.S. government is continuing its efforts to dismantle the Sinaloa Cartel, which El Chapo Guzmán once led.
Guzmán was extradited to the U.S. in 2017 after escaping twice from Mexican prisons. He was found guilty in a New York City court of 10 drug trafficking charges on February 12.
Sentencing is scheduled for June 25, where he will be facing a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no chance for parole.
Meanwhile, his lawyers have alleged juror misconduct.
In a letter sent Friday to Judge Brian Cogan, Guzmán’s defense team took the first step in appealing the unanimous guilty verdict, asking for additional time to prepare as they make a case for a new trial.
They allege “that multiple jurors engaged in misconduct by intentionally violating the court’s direction” to avoid media coverage of the trial and not to communicate with one another about the trial prior to deliberations.
While Guzmán awaits the outcome of his attorneys’ arguments he might get to enjoy some family visits.
President López Obrador told reporters this morning that he had instructed government officials to provide assistance to Guzmán’s mother and two sisters to enable them to travel to the U.S.
He explained that during a visit last week to Badiraguato, Sinaloa, Guzmán’s hometown, he had been given a letter from María Consuelo Loera Pérez, the ex-drug lord’s mother, asking him to help them obtain humanitarian visas from the United States embassy to allow them to visit her son.
She claimed that Guzmán had been extradited illegally, and asked that he be repatriated to Mexico. She wrote that she had not seen him for more than five years.
Loera concluded by sending the president her blessings in his efforts to bring peace and justice to Mexico.
UPDATE (Feb. 22, 3:32pm CT): New information was added about the letter sent to the president.