El Chapo Will Probably Call Brooklyn Home Very Soon

Photo: REUTERS/Henry Romero/File Photo

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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Sinaloa Cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is likely going to call the New York City borough of Brooklyn home once he is extradited from Mexico to stand trial.

El Chapo’s case of multiple federal counts of drug trafficking and murder will be handled by the Eastern District of New York according to sources that spoke with the Associated Press. Two Mexican federal judges approved of El Chapo’s extradition to the U.S. which was subsequently given the green light by the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

There has been reporting since February that the cartel kingpin might end up facing trial in Brooklyn once he is on U.S. soil. Univision published documents in May coming from the Eastern District of New York which seemed to show that the office has become the information hub for preparing a case against El Chapo.

The cartel chief was captured by Mexican Marines in January after a brazen jailbreak from the Altiplano Prison near Mexico City in July 2015.  El Chapo broke out through an almost mile long underground tunnel built by his cartel cronies.

Given the drug lord’s fondness of tunnels, a Brooklyn trial would suit him well since the courthouse is connected via underground tunnel to a jail where he would be held during the trial. The purpose of an underground tunnel is to keep high value, at-risk prisoners safe from violence in the event El Chapo’s cartel pals want to whack him before he takes the stand.

The Justice Department is preparing multiple witnesses to testify against El Chapo including former cronies and enraged rivals. Due to the laundry list of charges against the Sinaloa Cartel boss, he could stand trial in El Paso, Miami, San Diego, New Hampshire, Manhattan, or Chicago but he is most likely to be tried in Brooklyn.

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