• 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

  • Sports

    Lady Gaga will perform during Super Bowl halftime show

    by on Sep 29, 17:22

    NEW YORK (AP) – It’s official: Lady Gaga will headline the Super Bowl halftime show. The NFL and Pepsi announced Thursday that the pop star will take the stage Feb. 5 at NRG Stadium in Houston. Gaga sang the national anthem at the Super Bowl this year in Santa Clara, California. Beyonce, Bruno Mars and […]

  • Politics

    Interior Democrats endorse independent Margaret Stock, party leadership backs Metcalfe

    by Associated Press on Sep 29, 14:50

    Democrats in one part of Alaska have endorsed an independent candidate for U.S. Senate, bucking their party’s own nominee. The Interior Democrats voted Wednesday to endorse independent Margaret Stock. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the action might result in any sanctions from the Alaska Democratic party, which hasn’t actively backed party nominee Ray Metcalfe in […]

  • Sports

    Aces’ coach Rob Murray named to 2017 AHL Hall of Fame

    by Dave Goldman on Sep 29, 12:36

    The Hall of Fame is a big deal, at any level. It says you’re standing with a select group of individuals. Aces head coach Rob Murray is there. The 49-year-old coach and president of hockey operations for the team was honored by the American Hockey League (AHL) Thursday as a member of this year’s AHL […]

  • Sports

    University of Alaska Anchorage to host 2018 GNAC championships

    by Dave Goldman on Sep 29, 11:52

    The list of big-time events at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage is growing. The 2018 Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships can now be added to the list. This is the first time the event will be hosted at the new 5,000 seat arena. .@UAASeawolves and @AKAirCenter to host 2018 #GNACMBB […]

  • DayBreak

    Story Time w/ Aunt Phil: Russell Hyde Merrill

    by Daybreak Staff on Sep 29, 11:39

    This week in Alaska history, an aviation pioneer was honored in 1932 with his own memorial at the airfield that now bears his name — three years after he took off and never returned. In this week’s Story Time with Aunt Phil, author Laurel Downing Bill gives a history lesson on this legend of the […]

  • DayBreak

    Mic Check in the Morning: Alaska Sound Celebration

    by Daybreak Staff on Sep 29, 11:26

    A celebration of a cappella sound is coming to Anchorage and it includes the state’s premiere all-female group, Alaska Sound Celebration. The ensemble includes 70 women from all walks of life, singing in the barbershop style. Thursday, they joined Daybreak for a Mic Check in the Morning with a preview of the upcoming Celebrate the […]

  • Crime

    Fourth suspect in Anchorage home invasion murder turns himself in

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Sep 29, 11:12

    Last updated at 1:10 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29 A woman who was shot after answering the door of her northeast Anchorage home last Thursday has died, according to Anchorage police. Paula Zorawski, 40, was shot in the head on Sept. 22 during an apparent home invasion on Alora Loop. She was pronounced dead at the hospital […]

  • Lifestyle

    Scientists use drones to study sea lions in Aleutians

    by Heather Hintze on Sep 29, 10:42

    Scientists are using drone technology to track declining Steller sea lion populations in Alaska. Every summer researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Fisheries Science Center study the animals along the Aleutian Island chain. They use a variety of methods to count the sea lions including stationary game cameras and manned aircraft […]