Ovidio Guzmán,'El Ratón', Takes a One-Way Flight to a U.S. Cell

Ovidio Guzmán López, known as “El Ratón,” has been extradited to the U.S., reuniting him with his infamous father, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, in a federal prison in Chicago. A former DEA official marked the occasion with a mix of triumph and irony.

Ovidio Guzmán,'El Ratón', Takes a One-Way Flight to a U.S. Cell
Mexican media report that Ovidio Guzmán López “El Ratón”, son of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and heir to Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel, was taken out of the Altiplano prison.

Ovidio Guzmán López, infamously known as “El Ratón,” is now in the United States after a highly publicized transfer from Mexico, reuniting him with his father, the notorious Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. The arrival of the younger Guzmán was marked with a peculiar mix of triumph and dark irony, as emphasized by Derek S. Maltz, a former Special Agent and Director of Operations for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Maltz released a photograph showing Guzmán López handcuffed, wearing a khaki prison uniform and marked with the number 5684. “Ovidio Guzmán, WELCOME TO AMERICA and enjoy the family reunion with your father El CHAPO in maximum federal prison,” the former DEA official posted.

In the released photo, Ovidio appears seated next to the jet's window, a screen monitoring the trip shows areas around Chicago. He wears glasses, is cleanly shaved, and has his hair cut short. The chain around his waist signals that he is considered among the most dangerous convicts.

Upon his arrival, Ovidio was admitted to the Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center, a 26-story administrative security building with 481 inmates. Notably, the prison already houses Alfredo Vásquez Hernández and Tomás Arévalo Renteria, former operatives of the Sinaloa Cartel to which the Guzmán family belongs.

Ovidio Guzmán López, handcuffed and donning a khaki prison uniform, sits aboard the aircraft.
Ovidio Guzmán López, handcuffed and donning a khaki prison uniform, sits aboard the aircraft that transferred him to U.S. soil. Credit: Agencies

Illinois Over New York

Despite facing six charges in the Southern District Court of New York, including money laundering, conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, and weapons possession, the decision was made to prosecute him in Illinois. He shares this accusation with his brothers: Iván Archivaldo Guzmán Salazar, Jesús Alfredo Guzmán Salazar, and Joaquín Guzmán López.

The extradition process was remarkably quick; just eight months after his arrest on January 5, Ovidio was flown from Altiplano Prison by Interpol Mexico to Toluca Airport and then transferred to Chicago by U.S. authorities. According to reports, he did not file any legal recourse to avoid the extradition.

While celebrating the extradition as “a little justice for the families in the United States who lost their loved ones to fentanyl poisoning,” Maltz also shed light on the harrowing drug crisis facing America. Between April 2022 and April 2023, more than 100,000 Americans died due to drug overdoses. “It is still necessary to shut down production capacities in Mexico,” Maltz asserted, marking his words with emojis of the Mexican flag.

What's Next for “El Ratón”?

Ovidio is expected to appear in federal district court in Chicago on Monday, where he will be represented by Jeffrey Lichtman, the lawyer who also represented his father, “El Chapo.”

The extradition and subsequent imprisonment of Ovidio Guzmán López mark a high-profile chapter in the ongoing battle against drug cartels. However, as pointed out by those in law enforcement, this is but a grim milestone in a much larger war that has yet to be won.

Former DEA Agent Derek S. Maltz shares a photo of “El Ratón”, highlighting the grim irony of his U.S. arrival while emphasizing the urgency of combating drug production in Mexico amid skyrocketing overdose deaths.