Infamous Mexican drug lord, Joaquin Guzman – better known as El Chapo – has been extradited to the United States where he’ll face multiple drug, homicide and money laundering charges, the country’s Foreign Ministry has announced.
The Fifth Collegiate Criminal Court in Mexico City has denied notorious drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, protection under the country’s laws according to a statement by the Mexican Foreign Ministry. Therefore, permission to extradite Guzman to the US has been issued, and the “Government of the Republic delivered today to Mr. Guzmán to the authorities of the United States of America,” reads the statement.
Guzman was airborne shortly after the announcement, a spokeswoman for the Mexican Attorney General told ABC News. She did not elaborate on where exactly he was being transferred to.
In May last year, a Mexican judge approved the US extradition request for Guzman, but the ruling was temporarily suspended after his lawyers appealed citing the potential death penalty their client may face in the US.
The Mexican Supreme Court dismissed appeals filed by El Chapo’s lawyers aimed at halting the extradition earlier on Thursday. “The judges decided not to hear the [appeal for] protection [from extradition],” a source in the court told AFP.
Guzman faces charges in seven US states. Its widely believed that he might first appear in Brooklyn, New York, to stand trial on federal charges. El Chapo is already in US custody and is being flown to New York, according to a US official quoted by ABC News.
“It’s a good thing to finally get him to the US side,” a US law enforcement officer based in Mexico told Reuters.
Mexico however did not put “a whole lot of thought” into the timing of extradition, which came just a day before Donald Trump’s inauguration, “but it certainly isn’t a bad thing,” the officer added.
The US Justice Department has confirmed El Chapo’s extradition, saying in a statement cited by Reuters, the notorious crime lord 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.’”
“The Justice Department extends its gratitude to the Government of Mexico for their extensive cooperation and assistance in securing the extradition of Guzman Loera to the United States,” reads the statement.
El Chapo, who heads the Sinaloa Cartel, is wanted by US authorities for smuggling vast amounts of drugs into the country. Charges in the USA against Guzman include conspiracy to import and possess with intent to distribute cocaine, as well as money laundering, homicide and possession of firearms charges.
Source: Word News