• 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

  • News

    Whale carcass continues to degrade near Kincaid Park

    by Lauren Maxwell on Aug 26, 20:29

    A humpback whale that washed ashore in Kincaid Park is still there. High tides that lapped at the shoreline below the bluffs, near the motor cross track, have failed to move the giant carcass. But in the nearly seven weeks since the whale washed up it has deteriorated considerably. Bones are showing and the body appears […]

  • News

    Back on track: Alaska Military Youth Academy cadets celebrate graduation

    by Eric Ruble on Aug 26, 20:19

    For the last 22 weeks, Brandon Brown didn’t have access to his phone or the internet. At the Alaska Military Youth Academy, he was also cut off from his old way of life. “Before I came to the academy, I was kind of like your typical slacker,” said Brown. “This place really turned me around.” […]

  • Sports

    AFC fights to gain exposure through deal with UFC

    by Dave Goldman on Aug 26, 19:09

    This week the Alaska Fighting Championship (AFC) signed a deal with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) for UFC to carry AFC matches on its “Fight Pass” platform digitally. AFC also sold its video library to UFC. “We’re really excited to make this deal with UFC, it was obviously a game changer for my career,” said AFC president Sarah Lorimer. So it […]

  • Weather

    Last 70-degree day of 2016? This weekend may be summer’s last hurrah.

    by Melissa Frey on Aug 26, 17:25

    The warmest weekend this month is underway across Southcentral Alaska. Many locations in the Matanuska-Susitna area and places across the Kenai Peninsula reached the mid-70s Friday. The high temperature in Anchorage will be flirting with 70 degrees both Saturday and Sunday. Mostly sunny skies and dry conditions are also expected across Southcentral. Anchorage typically records […]

  • Lifestyle

    For these rising costs, the middle class has it the worst

    by CBS News on Aug 26, 17:20

    The economics of the health care system can be bewildering, but here’s a truth that middle-class Americans may see all too clearly: they are bearing the brunt of higher medical costs. Since 1984, the middle class has seen its out-of-pocket expenses for health care jump by 60 percent, far outpacing the 28 percent rise in medical costs for poor households, according to […]

  • DayBreak

    Mic Check in the Morning: Harper’s Farce

    by Daybreak Staff on Aug 26, 17:09

    Multimedia science fiction band Harper’s Farce took to the Daybreak stage for a Mic Check in the Morning. The group uses music, words and visuals to explore what it means to be human. According to their website, Harper’s Farce formed in July 2015 as a cover band. The temporary project became collaborative storytelling experience spanning […]

  • Lifestyle

    Living Alaska: Fungus, festivals and a foraging movement

    by Megan Edge on Aug 26, 16:15

    It felt like I was walking through the pages of a children’s book. Vibrant green moss blanketed parts of Moose Meadow in Girdwood. Rain fell in a mist; leaving the fresh aroma of nature in the air and turning the hair sticking out from under my ball cap into curlicues. I was mushroom hunting, as […]

  • Lifestyle

    The Hungry Chum: An eater’s guide to the Alaska State Fair

    by The Hungry Chum on Aug 26, 16:15

    Sports fans talk about opening day like it’s a religious experience of sorts. Some have called it a rebirth, heralded with pageantry. The players are nervous, the fans are on the edge of their seats and everyone hopes the weather holds. For food fanatics in the Last Frontier, that day is the first day of […]