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Photos Give Inside Look at ‘El Chapo' Extradition

Drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was transferred under heavy security to a plane that took him to New York, where he will be held and is expected to appear in court. These images show how the surprise transfer took place.

26 photos
En el año 2014, Guzmán fue acusado en una corte federal de Brooklyn por el supuesto lavado de $14,000 millones de dólares a través de las actividades delictivas del Cartel de Sinaloa.
After months of actions for and against his extradition, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera finally arrived in New York.
These images show how the surprise transfer took place.
Although it was known that Guzman's departure to the United States was a possibility, his lawyers had tried to stop it.
Mexico's most wanted man was expected to appear in a federal court in Brooklyn Friday to face a sweeping 17-count indictment charging him with running a criminal enterprise that distributed cocaine, meth and other drugs throughout the United States for decades, reaping billions in profits.
It's a court date the United States sought for two decades while he made brazen prison escapes and spent years on the run in Mexico.
The U.S. has been trying to get Guzman in a U.S. court since he was first indicted in Southern California in the early 1990s. Now in his late 50s, he faces the possibility of life in a U.S. prison under indictments in six jurisdictions around the United States, including New York, San Diego, Chicago and Miami.
He landed in New York Thursday night.
His arrival comes the night before the inauguration of the new President of the United States, Donald Trump.
The Mexican Attorney's Office said the move had no political origin, however.
EMPTY_CAPTION"There is no motivation in the El Chapo extradition resolution," Arturo Elías Beltrán, deputy prosecutor for Legal and International Affairs of the PGR, said in Spanish.
Mexico left Guzman in the hands of the DEA in Ciudad Juárez, bordering El Paso, Texas.
And everything related to its mobilization is seen as reinforced security.
Well remembered are his impressive escapes.
The last one, in July 2015.
And that led to the recapture of January 2016.
Mexican officials were seen as eager to hand him off to the United States. But Guzman's lawyers fought his extradition, and attorney Andres Granados accused the government of carrying it out Thursday to distract from nationwide gasoline protests.
EMPTY_CAPTION"It was illegal. They didn't even notify us," Granados said. "It's totally political."
Mexico's Foreign Relations Department said a court had ruled against Guzman's appeal and found that his extradition would be constitutional.
Derek Maltz, who headed the DEA's Special Operations Division until his retirement in mid-2014, said the extradition reaffirms Mexico's commitment to working with the United States and curbing the power of its drug cartels, and the timing could be seen as a good-faith effort by the Mexican government.
Maltz said Guzman's extradition is not likely to immediately curb the Sinaloa cartel's role in the drug trade, but it signals that the U.S. and Mexico are serious about fighting drug gangs.
Carl Pike, a former DEA agent who spent the last part of his career helping the drug agency chase Guzman, said Thursday he was always confident that the drug lord would be sent to the U.S., but the timing was "interesting."
EMPTY_CAPTION"It's one way of thanking Obama and another way of saying, 'Mr. Trump, welcome to the arena,' " Pike said.
As a candidate, Donald Trump criticized Mexico for sending the U.S. "criminals and rapists" and vowed to build a wall at the Mexican border and have Mexico pay for it. Mexican officials have said they wouldn't pay for such a structure.
Guzman is expected to be prosecuted in Brooklyn, where an indictment accuses him of overseeing a massive trafficking operation that sent billions of dollars in profits back to Mexico. It says Guzman and other members of the Sinaloa cartel, one of the world's largest drug trafficking organizations, employed hit men who carried out murders, kidnappings and acts of torture.
Copyright AP - Associated Press
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