"El Chapo" Extradicted; Sinaloa Drug Cartel Kingpin Now On US Soil To Face Charges

By Marguerite Chang - 20 Jan '17 05:30AM

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has finally been caught. The drug kingpin has been a legend in his native Mexico because he is the consummate prison escape artist. After being on the run and seemingly far enough from the arms of the law, "El Chapo" is not back on US soil.

The drug kingpin arrived in New York late Thursday and will appear in a federal court on Friday. El Chapo's trial date will be set at a later time. According to CNN, the Brooklyn Bridge will be closed during the time that he will be brought to court.

El Chapo's extradition comes just in time for the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump. This is also after over a year of being caught after he escaped from maximum security prison. The former head of the Sinaloa drug cartel will be tried on numerous federal drug trafficking charges.

July 11, 2015, Guzman was able to escape from his prison cell by digging a hole in his shower that led to a mile-long tunnel. By January 8, 2016 he was caught by the Mexican Navy in Los Mochis. Back in 2014, the US has been asking for Guzman's extradition but Mexico did not grant the request citing reasons pertaining to "national security."

After looking for ways to prosecute the infamous drug lord for years, finally El Chapo is in custody. Guzman's lawyers have tried to legally hinder the extradition but the Mexican federal court would not hear of it and paved the way for El Chapo to be sent to New York and face the charges leveled against him. His lawyer, José Rodríguez, has said that the extradition came as a surprise for him and will be visiting his client in custody.

On Thursday, he boarded a plane in Ciudad Juárez and arrived just in time for the transition of power between President Barak Obama and President-elect Donald Trump.

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