• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
3m 3s

U.S. to seek Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s extradition

By CBS News 1:13 PM February 23, 2014

The U.S. had placed a $5 million bounty on Guzman's head. His cartel has smuggled billions of dollars worth of cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines into the U.S., and fought vicious turf wars with other Mexican gangs.

NEW YORK - Federal prosecutors announced Sunday their intention to seek the extradition of the world’s most wanted drug kingpin, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who was captured Saturday in a resort town in Mexico.

There has been a pending extradition request for Guzman, who faces charges in eight districts in the U.S., including in New York, California, Texas, Florida and Illinois.

Spokesman Robert Nardoza confirmed for CBS News that U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch in the Brooklyn federal district plans to formally seek Guzman’s extradition. In Brooklyn, a federal grand jury charged Guzman and other co-defendants in 2009 with participating in a criminal enterprise responsible for smuggling cocaine into the United States.

While the U.S. did not want to bring it up in the first day of arrest, there will be a conversation about extradition in the weeks ahead, a government official told CBS News. At the moment, the Mexicans want to keep Guzman in custody but there is concern due to his 2001 escape from a Mexican prison inside a laundry truck. There has been widespread belief among drug war watchers that Guzman escaped because he had many Mexican officials on his payroll.

The United States had placed a $5 million bounty on Guzman’s head. Guzman’s cartel has smuggled billions of dollars worth of cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines into the United States, and fought vicious turf wars with other Mexican gangs.

He pioneered the use of sophisticated underground tunnels to smuggle drug shipments across the border and also became a major narcotics exporter to Europe and Asia in recent years.

In the U.S., Guzman had targeted Chicago in recent years.

Jack Riley, who heads up the Chicago division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, told “48 Hours” in 2013 that his city was targeted by Guzman for “the same reason there’s many fortune 500 companies here…it is a business logistic home run.”

“We’re over some of the biggest interstates in the country here in addition to the trucking and obviously the rail and that’s what makes this area so important to traffickers,” Riley said.

Guzman was considered such a menace to Chicago streets that the city’s crime commission had named him “Public Enemy Number One” — a title they last bestowed on notorious gangster Al Capone.

The capture of El Chapo was the result of a yearlong operation that came to a head about a week ago. This was the result of cooperation acting on U.S. intelligence which had been in place for over a year. It was up to the Mexicans in terms of how quickly they acted on it. The DEA, Department of Homeland Security, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement played a big part.

Many officials have tried to downplay the direct impact Guzman’s capture will have on the ongoing drug war in Mexico that has claimed at least 60,000 lives so far. His organization, the Sinaloa Cartel, will likely appoint someone else to replace Guzman shortly. There is even a chance that violence will spike as rivals both inside and outside his cartel vie for the power, territory, and influence he once wielded.

However, U.S. law enforcement officials told CBS News they view his capture as “symbolically important” in terms of what it means for the morale of U.S. agencies and cooperation with their Mexican counterparts.

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Latest Stories

  • Crime

    Anchorage police: Woman knocked unconscious, stabbed on Chester Creek bike trail

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 29, 19:50

    Anchorage police say a woman was knocked unconscious and stabbed Sunday afternoon on the Chester Creek bike trail in East Anchorage. At around 12:20 p.m., the Anchorage Police Department responded to the report. The victim told police she had just crossed the pedestrian bridge over Northern Lights Boulevard and was headed south toward Goose Lake. She […]

  • News

    Fresh out of certification testing, climbers called to rescue 3 from Matanuska Peak

    by Sierra Starks on Mar 29, 19:31

    It was two full days of testing and evaluation for nine climbers with the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group, as they completed their reaccreditation. The testing, which included avalanche response, high-scale rescue and wilderness search, wrapped up Saturday evening. But that’s when the real training began, says 16-year AMRG volunteer Dean Knapp. AMRG’s Eric Huffman says he was “just […]

  • Weather

    Weekend weather forecast

    by KTVA Weather on Mar 29, 18:15

  • Crime

    20-year-old charged in fatal beating of brother in Venetie

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 29, 17:55

    A 20-year-old man has been charged in the death of his brother after allegedly clubbing him in the head earlier this month. “An autopsy indicated he had cracks to his skull,” the Associated Press reports. “And the left side of his brain had collapsed.” On March 12, Alaska State Troopers were notified that a man […]

  • Crime

    Sudan refugee concerned for his safety after vandalism outside his Spenard home

    by Sierra Starks on Mar 29, 15:34

    Mohammed Abdallai, who moved to Alaska almost five years ago as a refugee, says he is concerned for his safety after the vehicles outside of his home were vandalized. Words like “Get out,” “Go home” and “Leave Alaska,” among others, had been written on his green SUV and another vehicle outside of his residence in […]

  • Crime

    18-year-old injured in East Anchorage house party shooting

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 29, 13:28

    An 18-year-old female was struck in the shoulder by a bullet after shots were fired outside of an East Anchorage house party early Sunday morning. The shooting occurred at about 2:15 a.m., police say. A large, private party was being held at a residence located at the 4500 block of Ninth Avenue, near Lane Street, […]

  • News

    Sail into history with Captain Cook at Anchorage Museum

    by Dave Leval on Mar 29, 10:58

    A statue of him overlooks the body of water that bears his name. He also has a hotel named after him. But how much do you really know about Captain James Cook? Arctic Ambitions: Captain Cook and the Northwest Passage is a new exhibition at the Anchorage Museum. A telescope that Cook used during his […]

  • News

    AKNG, AST rescue snowmachiner in crevasse of Eureka Glacier

    by Associated Press on Mar 29, 10:19

    The Alaska Air National Guard and Alaska State Troopers on Saturday came to the aid of a man who fell into a crevasse on Eureka Glacier. Troopers say they took a call just after 5:30 p.m. from 59-year-old Shawn Murphy of North Pole. Murphy reported that his companion, 69-year-old Fairbanks resident Robert McClintock, had wrecked […]