Mexico extradites drug kingpin El Chapo to US ahead of Trump's inauguration
The 59-year-old smuggler, who became a legend in Mexico through his dramatic prison escapes, faces six separate indictments throughout the United States
Mexico on Thursday extradited drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to the United States, just ahead of Donald Trump taking charge as the 45th President of the country.
The decision to extradite El Chapo comes after a federal court rejected a legal challenge by his lawyers against extradition and Guzman will appear in a federal courtroom in Brooklyn on Friday, reports said.
Mexican officials said this move is a last-minute gift to outgoing President Barack Obama, whose administration has been pushing for the transfer for months, and an olive branch to new US President who has regularly insulted Mexico, Reuters reported. Trump ahs earlier said on Twitter that he "would kick his ass" as president.
The 59-year-old smuggler, who became a legend in Mexico through his dramatic prison escapes, faces six separate indictments throughout the United States.
Reports said Guzman arrived in a small jet at Long Island's MacArthur Airport and took him to Manhattan's Metropolitan Correctional Center. A senior U.S. official said that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration took custody of Guzman, The Associated Press reported.
El Chapo broke out from a high-security Mexican prison in 2001 by hiding in a load of laundry and helped turn the Sinaloa cartel into one of the world’s most powerful drug trafficking organizations until was recaptured in Mexico in February 2014.
Guzman again broke out of the Altiplano prison near Mexico City in July through an underground tunnel after crawling through an opening in the shower area of his cell block. However, he was captured last January in the western coastal city of Los Mochis.