Is “El Chapo” Guzman’s rule over? Officials say drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has been formally charged with violations of Mexico’s drug-trafficking laws, starting a legal process that makes swift extradition to the U.S. unlikely.
In Mexico, Guzman is likely to face a host of charges related to his role as the head of the Sinaloa Cartel, the country’s most powerful drug organization and a key player in the yearslong violence that has claimed tens of thousands of lives since 2006.
Guzman was charged with cocaine trafficking Sunday inside a maximum-security prison, Mexico’s Federal Judicial Council announced. A judge has until Tuesday to decide whether to bring Guzman to trial here but a Mexican federal official said that Guzman faces a series of other charges in Mexico.
Rulings on all the charges will significantly delay any extradition decision, the official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
U.S. officials have been pushing for Guzman’s swift extradition. He faces charges in at least seven U.S. jurisdictions.
After fruitlessly pursuing one of the world’s top drug lords for years, authorities finally drew close to Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman using a cellphone found at a house where drugs were stored.
The phone belonging to a Guzman aide was recovered with clues from a U.S. wiretap and provided a key break in the long chase to find Guzman, officials told The Associated Press on Sunday.
Another big leap forward came after police analyzed information from a different wiretap that pointed them to a beachfront condo where the legendary leader of the Sinaloa cartel was hiding, according to a U.S. government official and a senior federal law enforcement official.
When he was at last taken into custody with his beauty-queen wife, Guzman had a military-style assault rifle in the room, but he didn’t go for it.