Mexico’s most notorious drug lord, Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, has been extradited to the United States to face trafficking and other other charges, according to U.S. and Mexico authorities.
Guzman, leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, was facing two separate extradition requests from California and Texas – where he faced the possibility of the death penalty. He is charged with six separate indictments throughout the US which includes conspiracy, organized crime, weapons possession, murder and money laundering.
The U.S. Department of Justice also confirmed Guzman’s extradition, saying in a news release that the infamous trafficker “is en route to the United States to face criminal charges in connection with his leadership of the Mexican organized crime syndicate known as the ‘Sinaloa Cartel.’” U.S. authorities thanked their Mexican counterparts but gave no further word on Guzman’s likely destination in the United States. Many believe Brooklyn will likely be the destination for Guzman.
El Chapo, which means “Shorty,” was a fugitive for 13 years after escaping from one prison. During that time, he reigned over a worldwide, multibillion-dollar drug empire that supplied much of the cocaine and marijuana to the United States. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency says he was able to stay in contact with his son and other cartel leaders through his lawyers and visitors at the Altiplano prison. In 2015, El Chapo gained notoriety for tunneling his way to an escape from Mexico’s most secure prison. His escape launched a worldwide manhunt which ended last January with his arrest after a deadly shootout in Los Mochis.
This transfer comes within the final hours of President Obama’s administration. There was concern on how the election of Donald Trump, who promised to build a wall along the southern boarder, could strain relations between the US and Mexico.
Via Time: Guzman timeline
June 10, 1993: Mexico announces Guzman’s first capture in Guatemala. But even after Guzman was imprisoned, “He continued to manage his affairs from prison with scarcely a hitch,” writes Robert Saviano in his book ZeroZeroZero. “The maximum security prison Puente Grande, where he was transferred in 1995, became his new base of operations,”
Jan. 19, 2001: With the help of bribed guards, Guzman escapes from his top-security prison. Saviano describes the escape: “One of them—Francisco Camberos Rivera, known as El Chito, or the Silent One—opened the door to El Chapo’s cell and helped him climb into a cart of dirty laundry. They headed down unguarded hallways and through wide-open electronic doors to the inner parking lot, where only one guard was on duty. El Chapo jumped out of the cart and leaped into the trunk of a Chevrolet Monte Carlo.”
Feb. 22, 2014: El Chapo is captured in Mazatlan after hiding in tunnels for days. The success was touted as a huge win for authorities, who by then had deemed Guzman the “most powerful drug trafficker in the world.”
July 11, 2015: Guzman escapes through a tunnel from Mexico’s top-security prison. You can see the path he took to escape here.
Jan. 8, 2016: He is once again re-captured in Los Mochis, Sinaloa after a shootout with Mexican marines. Five people were killed and one marine was wounded in the fight.