The Mexican Foreign Ministry announced Thursday that drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, was extradited from Mexico to the U.S. The U.S. Justice Department confirmed that Guzman left the country from Ciudad Juarez.
The department said Guzman was in U.S. custody and was being flown to New York. The Sinaloa Cartel is responsible for trafficking hundreds of tons of drugs throughout the U.S.
The U.S. sought Guzman’s extradition on multiple charges of drug trafficking, murder and money laundering in several states. The extradition request was approved by a Mexican judge in October, days after the federal judge assigned to the case was murdered while jogging outside his home. Guzman faces six separate indictments in the U.S., which agreed not to seek the penalty in exchange for the extradition.
“The Justice Department extends its gratitude to the government of Mexico for their extensive cooperation and assistance in securing the extradition of Guzman Loera to the United States,” the department said in a statement. It said details of his court appearances would be provided at a later date.
Guzman escaped prison in 2001 after bribing Mexican prison guards, and again in 2014 when he exited through a nearly 1-mile tunnel dug beneath his jail sell. He was captured a third time in 2016 after six months on the run.
In October, a letter from the drug kingpin’s psychiatrist alleged that Guzman was depressed and suffering from hallucinations, memory loss and was experiencing “physiological torture” at the hands of prison guards. His wife filed a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission, alleging he was allowed no contact with other prisoners and could only receive limited outside visitors.