Sons of “El Chapo” among 28 charged in U.S. fentanyl investigation after Sinaloa cartel “infiltrated” by DEA


Son of Mexican drug lord “El Chapo” arrested

Son of Mexican drug lord “El Chapo” arrested


The Justice Department on Friday charged 28 members of Mexico’s powerful Sinaloa cartel, including sons of notorious drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, in a sprawling fentanyl-trafficking investigation.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the charges Friday alongside Drug Enforcement Administration chief Anne Milgram and other top federal prosecutors. The charges were filed against cartel leaders, as well as alleged chemical suppliers, lab managers, fentanyl traffickers, security leaders, financiers and weapons traffickers.

The indictments announced Friday charge Guzman’s four sons, who are known as the Chapitos, or little Chapos, and who have earned a reputation as the more violent and aggressive faction of the cartel.

The indictments also charge Chinese and Guatemalan citizens accused of supplying precursor chemicals required to make fentanyl. Others charged in the cases include those accused of running drug labs and providing security and weapons for the drug trafficking operation, prosecutors said.

“The Chapitos pioneered the manufacture and trafficking of fentanyl – the deadliest drug threat our country has ever faced – flooded it into the United States for the past eight years and killed hundreds of thousands of Americans,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram in a news release announcing the charges. “Over the last year and a half, the DEA proactively infiltrated the Sinaloa Cartel and the Chapitos network, obtained unprecedented access to the organization’s highest levels, and followed them across the world.”

Nearly 107,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in the U.S. in 2021.

“Far too many Americans have become victims in the national fentanyl crisis. These cartels have shown us they will stop at nothing to manufacture, traffic, and push these dangerous drugs to every corner of our country,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray.

The Sinaloa cartel’s notorious drug lord was convicted in 2019 of running an industrial-scale smuggling operation. At his trial, prosecutors said evidence gathered since the late 1980s showed he and his murderous cartel made billions of dollars by smuggling tons of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana into the U.S.

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