Not too long ago, international Trap God, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was transferred to prison at Cuidad Juarez. This move closer to the US border is believed by many top be an indicator that El Chapo’s extradition from Mexico isn’t too far off. There are seven US districts vying for the opportunity to prosecute the Sinaloa boss: Brooklyn, Manhattan, Chicago, Miami, San Diego, El Paso and New Hampshire. Each district accused El Chapo of “overseeing a drug empire that poisoned American streets by smuggling countless tons of cocaine, heroin and marijuana via tunnels or secret compartments in cars, trucks and rail cars.” The first to indict him was San Diego in 1996, and the Sinaloa Cartel reportedly supplied 80% of the drugs entering into Chicago, making El Chapo the first “Public Enemy #1” there since Al Capone. However, according to two anonymous law enforcement officials, Brooklyn has the best shot at hosting the high profile trial.
One reason Brooklyn is the favorite is its track record of prosecuting international drug trafficking cases. According to the Chicago Tribune, “Starting in the 1990s, the office has built several complex cases strong enough to convince distant governments in Asia and South America to extradite defendants now serving lengthy sentences in US prisons.”
Furthermore, reports indicate:
In a move seen as aimed at smoothing the path to extradition, prosecutors in Brooklyn quietly revised their indictment last month to drop more than a dozen death-penalty eligible accusations of specific murders by his henchmen in Mexico, while preserving murder conspiracy charges that could still result in a life sentence. Around the same time, Mexico’s foreign ministry said it had sought and received “sufficient guarantees” from U.S. officials that Guzman wouldn’t be executed.
Nevertheless, the powers-that-be are looking for whichever is best equipped to put El Chapo away forever, according to former Brooklyn federal prosecutor and high-profile Justice Department official Jodi Avergun. “They know they only have one shot at this,” she said of the competing districts.
In the meantime, El Chapo and his team are fighting extradition to the United States.