Drug Lord 'El Chapo' Extradited to US
Joaquin Guzman was placed on a plane to New York at 5:30pm EST
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 19, 2017 6:03 PM CST
In this Jan. 8, 2016 file photo, a handcuffed Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is made to face the press as he is escorted to a helicopter by Mexican soldiers and marines at a federal hangar in Mexico City....   (Eduardo Verdugo)

(Newser) – Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, Mexico's most notorious cartel kingpin who twice made brazen prison escapes and spent years on the run as the country's most wanted man, was extradited to the US on Thursday to face drug trafficking and other charges, the AP reports. Mexico's Foreign Relations Department announced Guzman was handed over to US authorities for transportation to the US on Thursday, the last full day of President Obama's administration and a day before Donald Trump is to be inaugurated. The US Justice Department issued a statement confirming that Guzman was en route to the US and expressed gratitude to Mexico for its cooperation. A senior US official says Guzman was placed on a plane to New York at 5:30pm EST in Ciudad Juarez.

The convicted Sinaloa cartel boss has been held most recently in a prison near Ciudad Juarez. He was recaptured a year ago after escaping from a second maximum-security prison through a tunnel dug to his cell. He had fought extradition since then. Guzman faces the possibility of life in prison under multiple indictments in six jurisdictions around the US. A federal indictment in New York, where Guzman is expected to be prosecuted, accuses him of overseeing a trafficking cartel with thousands of members and billions of dollars in profits laundered back to Mexico. It says Guzman and other members of the Sinaloa cartel employed hit men who carried out murders, kidnappings, and acts of torture.

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