Joaquin Guzman — known as 'El Chapo' — was captured overnight in Mazatlan, Mexico, ABC News reported Sunday, Feb. 23. According to This Week with George Stephanopoulos, the notorious drug cartel leader some call Mexico's Osama bin Laden is the top illegal drug supplier to the U.S. Guzman is the top drug supplier not only to the U.S. — most particularly, to citizens in San Diego and New York, as well as throughout Texas and Chicago — but to the world. CNN stated that Guzman had “eluded arrest for so long ... stories about him veered closer and closer to the stuff of legend.” Calling the world's top drug kingpin “the legend of Sinaloa,” CNN asserts that he had the ability to hide “in plain sight,” while running his multibillion-dollar empire. Although elusive to law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and Mexico, Guzman has often appeared on lists of the most powerful, has frequently been written about by magazines such as Forbes and Times, as well as being touted as a much admired icon in lyrics of songs by artists like Gucci Mane.
Leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel since 1980, Guzman was arrested in 1993 in Guatemala and extradited back to Mexico, where he, reportedly, escaped from a Mexican prison hidden in a laundry basket in 2001. His re-capture on Saturday was due to a combined effort by the Mexican Marines and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in a joint operation, according to reports from ABC News and CNN. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told Martha Raddatz sitting in for Stephanopoulos on This Week Sunday morning the drug lord's capture was a “great victory.”
Currently, Guzman is in the custody of Mexican authorities, once again. Reuters reported that the U.S. will seek extradition of the Mexican drug kingpin. At the time of this report, however, although the infamous public enemy and fugitive for more than a decade faces multiple indictments in the U.S., ABC News senior justice correspondent Pierre Thomas questioned if Mexico would “ever let him go, considering all those dead people in their country.”