• 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

    Alaska gasline corporation opens office in Japan

    by Liz Raines on Jan 19, 16:28

    The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) is opening an office in Tokyo, according to a Jan. 12 notice from the agency and Gov. Bill Walker. The notice specifies Masatoshi Nick Shiratori as director of the office. Aside from the notice, the decision has not been publicly announced. Grace Jang, a spokesperson for Walker, called use […]

  • New Anchorage nonprofit promotes positive police interactions

    by Daybreak Staff on Jan 19, 15:22

    Newly formed nonprofit Anchorage Cops for Community is looking to help foster positive relations between police and the community they serve. It’s an outreach program sponsored through Anchorage Police Department Employee Association (APDEA), but chair Angelina Fraize says they hope to do more, like their popular monthly Coffee with a Cop events. The APDEA felt that […]

  • News

    EPA proposes OK of Fairbanks air plan, but more steps needed

    by Associated Press on Jan 19, 14:04

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to accept a state of Alaska plan for cleaning up the air in Fairbanks. EPA region 10 air office director Tim Hamlin says the agency is recommending approval of the plan even as it works to reclassify pollution violations in Fairbanks as serious rather than moderate. Reclassification would […]

  • DayBreak

    Mic Check in the Morning: Simply Three

    by Daybreak Staff on Jan 19, 12:55

    Simply Three is a classically trained trio bringing a modern sound to their stringed instruments. According to their biography on their website, they are known for their high-energy shows and covers of pop hits, but they also play the old masters like Gershwin. The band has an online following based on their creative music videos with […]

  • Lifestyle

    Nordic skiing for newbies: What you need to get started

    by Rachael Penton on Jan 19, 12:52

    Anchorage has received more than 30 inches of snow so far this winter, and with temperatures staying below freezing this year, the snow has stuck around. This means great conditions for nordic skiers — also known as cross-country skiers — both experts and novices. If you’re a newbie who wants to get out on Anchorage’s trails […]

  • Politics

    Anchorage municipal attorney rejects initiative to change equal rights ordinance

    by Daniella Rivera on Jan 19, 12:10

    The battle between religious freedom and LGBT rights in Anchorage is at a standstill, with one side trying to figure out their next move. Wednesday, the Anchorage Municipal Attorney’s office rejected a ballot initiative from a group that wants to make changes to the equal rights ordinance the Anchorage Assembly passed in 2015. The ordinance protects […]

  • News

    Bethel homeless shelter dealing with drunk residents

    by Associated Press on Jan 19, 9:23

    Operators of a homeless shelter in Bethel say they’re struggling to deal with intoxicated residents. KYUK-AM reported Wednesday that Bethel Winter House Director Eva Malvich says she may be forced to shut down the facility if problems continue. Malvich described an incident that took place earlier this month in which staff had to call police. She […]

  • 2 charged with burglary at Public Safety Department building

    by Associated Press on Jan 19, 9:07

    A former Department of Public Safety employee will be arraigned next month on a felony burglary charge and misdemeanor counts of theft and criminal mischief. Alaska State Troopers say 22-year-old MarieKimberly Ramos and 32-year-old Jeremiah Ranem on Dec. 22 broke into a locked area of the Department of Public Safety Building on east Tudor Road […]