'El Chapo's' sons indicted on drug conspiracy charges

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By Associated Press  with NBC News World News
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted by authorities after his detention in
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted by authorities after his detention in Mexico City on Jan. 18, 2016   -   Copyright  Jose Mendez

WASHINGTON — Two sons of notorious drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán have been indicted on drug conspiracy charges, the Justice Department said Thursday.

Joaquin Guzmán Lopez, 34, and Ovidio Guzmán Lopez, 28, are charged in a single-count indictment that was unsealed last week in Washington.

Prosecutors allege the two brothers conspired to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana into the U.S. from Mexico and elsewhere in the world from 2008 to 2018. They are both thought to be living in Mexico and remain fugitives.

Their father was convicted earlier this month on drug and conspiracy charges in New York. During a trial that lasted more than three months, prosecutors portrayed El Chapo as the calculating leader of a bloodthirsty smuggling operation that funneled tons of cocaine and other drugs into American cities. The offenses could put him behind bars for the rest of his life.

Prosecutors have said Guzmán, who twice escaped from prison in Mexico and was extradited to the U.S. last year for his trial, had amassed a multibillion-dollar fortune smuggling tons of cocaine and other drugs in a vast supply chain that reached well north of the border.

His lawyers raised concerns of potential juror misconduct after a juror told VICE News that several members of the panel looked at media coverage of the case and followed Twitter feeds of reporters, against a judge's orders, making them aware of potentially prejudicial material that jurors weren't supposed to see.