If convicted, Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán will face life in prison in the United States. El Chapo (Spanish for “Shorty”) is accused of running the world’s largest drug trafficking operation, from 1989 until 2014. The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York described the leader of the Sinaloa cartel as ruthless, saying he used violence to maintain his control of the organization and conspired to murder the cartel’s rivals.
59-year old El Chapo was extradited from Mexico and arrived in the U.S. on January 19th. As part of the extradition agreement with Mexico, U.S. authorities had to guarantee the death penalty would not be used.
El Chapo is charged in relation to six separate incidents that include money laundering, kidnapping and murder in several U.S. cities, and drug trafficking. The prosecution links “El Chapo” to over 200-tons worth of cocaine shipments, supplied by Colombia’s most powerful drug trafficking organizations. Authorities have seized over seven and a half tons of cocaine and heroin in the U.S. that is believed to have come from El Chapo’s organization.
El Chapo was captured one year ago, after fleeing a high security prison in Mexico through a mile-long tunnel. U.S. authorities have declined to comment where El Chapo will be held while awaiting trial.