The notorious Mexican drug lord, El Chapo, has been extradited to the US.
El Chapo, whose real name is Joaquin Guzman, was sent to America by the Mexican government shortly after 5:30pm on Thursday.
The Foreign Relations Department announced the extradition in a statement.
‘The government… today handed Mr Guzman to the US authorities,’ the statement read, referring to a court decision on Thursday rejecting a legal challenge by his lawyers against extradition.
It is being reported that the cartel kingpin will land in New York, before being sent to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
The center has been described by CNN as ‘Brooklyn’s Abu Ghraib’ – thanks in large part to the alleged treatment of prisoners there.
A Justice Department report from 2003 found: ‘prison guards slammed detainees into walls, twisted their arms and wrists, lifted restrained prisoners by their arms, and subjected them to humiliating strip searches.’
He could be tried in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York, also in Brooklyn, as it is one of seven with indictments pending against the drug lord, and it is considered to have one of the best chances of getting a conviction.
The New York indictment accuses him of overseeing a trafficking cartel with thousands of members and billions of dollars in profits laundered back to Mexico.
It alleges Guzman and other members of the Sinaloa cartel employed hit men who carried out murders, kidnappings and acts of torture.
The convicted Sinaloa cartel boss has been held most recently in an infamously violent prison near the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez.
He was recaptured a year ago after making a second brazen jailbreak and had fought extradition since then.
His lawyers had sought to block his extradition to the United States.
‘It’s a good thing to finally get him to the US side,’ a senior American law enforcement official based in Mexico said, according to Reuters.
He said he did not think Mexico put ‘a whole lot of thought’ into the timing of the extradition, which comes the day before Trump’s inauguration.
The drug lord could potentially face life in prison as a result of the indictments.
The announcement comes just days his lawyer claimed a prison guard was sexually harassing El Chapo on a daily basis.
Silvia Delgado said her client was ‘uncomfortable’ with the way he’s being treated and told her: ‘There is a security guard that handles me instead of only touching me’.
The slippery drug lord was recaptured in January last year, six months after his brazen escape from the Altiplano maximum-security prison through a one-mile tunnel that opened in his cell’s shower.
He had previously escaped from another prison in 2001 and was arrested in 2014.
He was taken back to Altiplano after his January arrest, but was abruptly transferred in May.
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Source: Daily Mail UK