On Feb. 23, federal prosecutors in New York City announced that they want the recently captured drug kingpin, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, extradited to the U.S. The number one “World's Most Wanted Fugitive,” according to Forbes, was captured in the Mexican resort town of Mazatlán, Sinalo, on Feb. 22, thanks to the Mexican Navy, with intelligence support from the DEA, Homeland Security, and the U.S. Marshals Service.
Spokesman Robert Nardoza confirmed for CBS News that U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch in the Brooklyn federal district plans to formally seek Guzman’s extradition. In Brooklyn, a federal grand jury charged Guzman and other co-defendants in 2009 with participating in a criminal enterprise responsible for smuggling cocaine into the United States.
U.S. and Mexican officials will be discussing extradition possibilities in the immediate future. But it’s a safe bet that Mexico won’t give up the “World's Most Wanted Fugitive” easily.
Guzman has been on the lam since escaping from a Mexican maximum security prison back in 2001. His home country won’t be giving him up without some serious diplomatic arm twisting.
At the moment, the Mexicans want to keep Guzman in custody but there is concern due to his 2001 escape from a Mexican prison inside a laundry truck. There has been widespread belief among drug war watchers that Guzman escaped because he had many Mexican officials on his payroll.
Guzman, considered the most powerful drug trafficker in the world and head of the Mexican drug cartel Sinaloa Cartel, is facing multiple drug charges in multiple U.S states, including N.Y., Calif., Texas, Fla., and Ill.
The Chicago Crime Commission named Guzman "Public Enemy No. 1" when the organization realized that El Chapo was trying to set up business in the Windy City.
Over the years, the Sinaloa Cartel, under Guzman’s leadership, has been responsible for smuggling “billions of dollars’ worth of cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines into the United States, and fought vicious turf wars with other Mexican gangs.”
The U.S. had a $5 million reward out for the elusive fugitive, and has been working in a joint operation with Mexico for the last several months to help in his capture.
CNN shared a quote from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who referred to Guzman’s capture as "a landmark achievement, and a victory for the citizens of both Mexico and the United States."
"Guzman was one of the world's most wanted men and the alleged head of a drug-running empire that spans continents," Holder said in a statement.
"The criminal activity Guzman allegedly directed contributed to the death and destruction of millions of lives across the globe through drug addiction, violence, and corruption."
For more on the capture of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, see the video accompanying this article.
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