Skip to main content

See also:

Extradition possible for drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman

The United States is interested in extraditing drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, and paperwork has already been filed by one office. TIME reports on Feb. 23 that Guzman could face drug trafficking charges in the U.S., but he operated in more than one location and could end up in more than one courtroom.

Mexico
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

El Chapo is considered to be the leader of the Sinaloa cartel that has allegedly gained more than $1 billion and earned him the nickname of the top drug lord in the world. Despite appearing on the Forbes list, he was found hiding in a simple apartment that did not show the wealth he had accumulated over the years. Guzman had spent several weeks running from authorities as they closed in on his location.

The drug lord was caught in Mazatlan, and he will probably remain in Mexico for initial prosecution. Although the United States would like to extradite El Chapo immediately, prosecutors may have to wait in line with the knowledge that he may never be allowed to leave Mexico. He is considered a high security risk based on his numerous drug connections and previous prison escapes.

Rep. Michael McCaul points out that extraditing El Chapo would allow the United States to place him in a supermax prison and potentially prevent another escape attempt. However, there is no guarantee that Mexico will allow this to happen, and prosecutors seem determined to keep him in the country.