Mexico Extradites 'El Chapo' Guzmán to US

Mexico Extradites 'El Chapo' Guzmán to US

Drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has appeared in a United States court after his surprise extradition from Mexico and pleaded not guilty to charges that he ran the world's largest drug-trafficking organisation during a decades-long criminal career.

Mexican marines recapture fugitive drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman six months after his spectacular prison break embarrassed authorities.

One official said the US Drug Enforcement Administration took custody of Guzman in Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, and a plane carrying him departed for NY at 5.31pm Eastern time.

He faces numerous charges including drug trafficking, murder, and money laundering in states throughout the U.S.

Calling him "the most notorious drug trafficker in the world", prosecutors said Guzman "vigorously fought his extradition to the United States up until the moment" that it was ordered on Thursday.

"Today marks a milestone in our pursuit of Chapo Guzman", said Robert Capers, the US attorney in Brooklyn.

Guzman, 59, arrived in a small jet at Long Island's MacArthur Airport after nightfall and left in a column of vehicles.

If convicted, Mr Guzman faces a mandatory life sentence.

All together, Guzman will face charges in six indictments from around the USA, the Justice Department said.

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El Chapo is responsible for supplying 80 percent of Chicago's cocaine and heroin according to law enforcement and is facing indictment in the north district of IL and five other US districts.

Prosecutors agreed to not seek the death penalty as a condition of the extradition.

The LA Times reports that a US official confirmed a report by the Mexican government that it was sending Guzman to face federal charges.

Prosecutors sought to bring him before USA courts for years while he made brazen prison escapes and spent years on the run in Mexico.

Guzman also faces charges in California, Texas, Illinois, Florida and New Hampshire. His extradition came on President Obama's last full day in office. He is expected to be held in Manhattan overnight and make a court appearance Friday in Brooklyn.

He likened the drug trafficking to a cancerous tumor that spread, leading to "misery" for legions of Americans.

In May a year ago, a Mexican judge approved the USA 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.

Guzman was first arrested for his criminal acts in Guatemala in 1993.

Guzman stood unshackled before a federal judge and pleaded not guilty to 17 counts covering almost a quarter-century of drug trafficking, including the operation of a continuing criminal enterprise. We can say that the caliber of witnesses are strong and great, " Capers told reporters.