In the United States, the son of the incarcerated Mexican drug lord Joaqun "El Chapo" Guzmán has entered a plea of not guilty to allegations of drug trafficking and money laundering.
On Friday, Ovidio Guzmán, 33 years old, was taken from Mexico and extradited to the United States.
His arrest in January resulted in a deadly standoff between the security forces and members of the cartel, which resulted in the deaths of thirty people.
His father is currently serving a life sentence in Colorado for his involvement in the Sinaloa drug cartel, for which he was one of the original founders.
One of the five allegations against Ovidio Guzmán, often known as "El Ratón" or "The Mouse," is conspiracy to smuggle fentanyl into the United States. Ovidio Guzmán entered a not guilty plea during a brief hearing that lasted only 15 minutes.
During the hearing, he appeared in court wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and talked through a translator.
The next hearing will take place in November as planned. According to data analyzed by the Washington Post, fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more powerful than heroin, is now the biggest cause of mortality in the United States for people in the ages of 18 to 49.
Although it is occasionally given by doctors to treat extreme pain, illegally made fentanyl has surged into the US and has fueled a deadly trade in the narcotic.
While it is sometimes recommended by doctors to treat extreme pain. According to US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, fentanyl overdoses are the single greatest threat the country faces.
According to investigators with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Sinaloa drug cartel is the source of a significant portion of the illegal fentanyl that is transported into the United States.
Since the arrest of El Chapo Guzmán in 2016 and the subsequent extradition of El Chapo Guzmán to the United States, four of El Chapo's sons, known as Los Chapitos (Little Chapos), are said to have taken on major roles in the cartel.
"The Chapitos pioneered the creation and trafficking of the deadliest narcotic our country has ever faced," said Anne Milgram, the chief of the Narcotic Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The brothers issued a joint statement through their attorney in the month of May, in which they denied any involvement and claimed that they had been made to serve as scapegoats.
They stated in their correspondence that they have never created, manufactured, or marketed fentanyl or any of its derivatives.
The arrest of Ovidio Guzmán by Mexican armed forces in 2019 brought Ovidio Guzmán's influence into the spotlight.
Sinaloa cartel members resorted to such extreme levels of violence following his detention that the Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, felt compelled to order his release in order to prevent further loss of life.
He was re-arrested in January as part of a massive security operation, during which he was flown from Sinaloa to Mexico City by helicopter.
This was done out of concern that individuals from Sinaloa could attempt to free him while he was being transferred in a prison van.