GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Guatemala on Thursday extradited one of the country’s top suspected drug traffickers to the United States, more than two years after a court had ordered the move.
Juan Ortiz Lopez, alias “Chamale,” who was arrested in March 2011, is wanted in a Florida federal court on charges of trafficking tons of cocaine into the United States.
The 43-year-old faces a maximum life sentence if convicted.
Rudy Esquivel, a spokesman for Guatemala’s prison system, said a police helicopter took Ortiz to a military air base before a plane bound for Tampa, Florida departed with him at around 9 a.m. local time.
A court had ordered his extradition in February 2012.
Reporting by Sofia Menchu, editing by G Crosse