Document: El Chapo Will Likely Be Tried In NY Eastern District

Photo: REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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Drug kingpin El Chapo will probably head to New York for trial once he is extradited from Mexico, reported Univision Tuesday.

Sinaloa Cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman faces a long list of charges, according to a superseding indictment from the Eastern District of New York. The document is meant to, “coordinate and demonstrate how the case will be handled against this man [El Chapo] and his associates,” according to Oscar Rodriguez, a lawyer who has represented some of El Chapo’s comrades.

This superseding indictment is supposed to show the united front of the U.S. justice system against the cartel kingpin, according to Rodriguez. The document was quietly published May 11 without the media knowing, according to Univision.

El Chapo had just moved to his new Juarez prison, close to the Texas border, before the superseding indictment was made public.

The drug kingpin is wanted in several jurisdictions, including: Texas, Arizona, Illinois and New Jersey.

Two Mexican federal judges ruled, one on May 9 and another on May 16, that the cartel chief could be sent north of the border. The Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave the thumbs up on May 20 that El Chapo could be extradited to the U.S.

U.S. authorities have promised their Mexican counterparts that the death penalty is off the table for El Chapo.

Lawyers for the Eastern District of New York got rid of murder charges against the notorious drug lord in their bid to try El Chapo. It is believed that this move is meant to hasten El Chapo’s extradition. The drug lord still faces multiple federal charges, including drug trafficking and money laundering.

If El Chapo ends up going to trial in the Brooklyn courthouse of the Eastern District of New York, he would be held in a prison that links up to the courthouse through an underground tunnel.

The Sinaloa Cartel leader escaped from Altiplano Prison near Mexico City in July 2015 via an almost mile-long tunnel. El Chapo was recaptured by Mexican Marines in January.

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