The case will also prosecute 28 members of Mexico’s powerful Sinaloa cartel, including chemical suppliers, lab managers, security chiefs, financiers and arms dealers.
The US Department of Justice on Friday indicted 28 members of Mexico’s powerful Sinaloa cartel, including three sons of drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, in a sweeping investigation into fentanyl trafficking.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland said Chinese chemical and pharmaceutical companies were involved in the operation.
Garland announced the charges this Friday along with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Anne Milgram and other federal prosecutors.
Among the defendants are Guzmán’s three sons, known as the Eatos, who have a reputation as the most violent and aggressive faction of the cartel.
One of his sons, Ovidio Guzmán López, is being held in Mexico awaiting extradition proceedings, federal prosecutors in Manhattan said.
His father was convicted in 2019 for running an industrial-scale smuggling operation.
“They know they’re poisoning Americans. They don’t care because they’re making billions of dollars doing it,” Milgram said of Guzman’s children. “Their greed is outrageous and knows no bounds.”
In addition to the cartel leaders, alleged chemical suppliers, laboratory managers, fentanyl traffickers, security chiefs, financiers and arms dealers are also accused, Garland noted.
“We’re going to look for the entire network of precursors, import into Mexico, manufacturing, weapons, money launderers, distribution in the United States,” he added.
Federal prosecutors have issued three separate indictments charging more than two dozen people living in Mexico, China and Guatemala. 8 of them have been detained.
This week, the government of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador created a presidential commission to combat the illegal trafficking of synthetic drugs such as fentanyl.
Engaged in China
Prosecutors have also charged four Chinese company owners with allegedly supplying chemical compounds to the cartel.
The US Treasury Department on Friday imposed sanctions on China-based chemical companies Wuhan Shuokang Biological Technology Co Ltd and Suzhou Xiaoli Pharmatech Co Ltd.
Garland held meetings with his Mexican counterparts this week and said they would work together to “continue to attack this enemy” and try to deport the remaining defendants. He urged China to take further action.
“The government of the People’s Republic of China must stop the uncontrolled flow of fentanyl precursor chemicals leaving China,” he said.
In 2021, nearly 107,000 people in the United States will die from drug overdoses.
— Latinus (@latinus_us) April 14, 2023
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