U.S. seeks extradition of Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman

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Originally published on February 24, 2014

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Authorities in the United States praised the February 22 capture of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and said the U.S. would seek his extradition from Mexico.

Reuters reports that just days before his arrest, Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman escaped a raid on one of his hideouts by crawling through hidden tunnels as cops tried to break down reinforced steel doors.

But on Saturday, February 22, Guzman was captured as he slept after Mexican marines overpowered his security detail without firing a single shot.

Guzman is credited with pioneering the use of sophisticated smuggling tunnels to transport narcotics to the United States.

Under his reign as head of Sinaloa drug cartel, Guzman also significantly increased drug shipments to Asia and Europe.

Alongside marijuana and methamphetamines, Guzman's drug cartel smuggled vast quantities of heroin, with US border seizures up by over 200 percent from 2008 to 2012.

Mexican authorities closed in on the cartel boss after troops killed a top lieutenant a month ago, and the arrest of one of a cartel assassin in Amsterdam two weeks ago helped tighten the noose and lead to Guzman's eventual capture.

Guzman has been indicted in the United States on dozens of charges of racketeering and conspiracy to import illegal drugs.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in New York said February 23rd that the United States will ask Mexico to extradite the drug cartel kingpin, while the Chicago head of the DEA said he wants Guzman tried in his city.

Reuters also reports that Guzman has been caught before, and famously gave his jailers the slip in 2001, escaping from prison, reportedly in a laundry cart.

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