U.S. requests extradition of Ovidio Guzman, son of 'El Chapo', from Mexico -sources

Security forces stand outside of high security prison where Mexican drug leader Ovidio Guzman is imprisoned, in Almoloya de Juarez
Members of the National Guard stand outside the Altiplano high security prison where Mexican drug gang leader Ovidio Guzman, the 32-year-old son of jailed kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, is imprisoned in Almoloya de Juarez, State of Mexico, Mexico January 7, 2023. REUTERS/Luis Cortes

MEXICO CITY, Feb 27 (Reuters) - The United States asked Mexico's government to extradite Ovidio Guzman, son of jailed drug boss Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, so that he can face criminal charges in a U.S. court, two Mexican government sources told Reuters on Monday.

Mexican security forces arrested the younger Guzman, wanted on drug trafficking charges, in January after an intense firefight near the city of Culiacan, in the northern Sinaloa state, the longtime home base for his father's still-powerful drug smuggling empire.

The January arrest triggered a wave of violence, leaving dozens dead.

"El Chapo" rose to power as the head of the Sinaloa Cartel, before he was extradited to the United States in 2017.

Soldiers detained Ovidio in 2019 but he was quickly released as his capture sparked a massive influx of gunmen into Culiacan.

The failed operation was a political embarrassment at the time to Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

In 2021, the U.S. State Department had offered a $5 million reward for information leading to Ovidio's arrest or conviction.

Ovidio has been charged in the U.S. with conspiracy to traffic cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana into the country.

Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; Writing by Kylie Madry; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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