One of the world's most notorious drug traffickers was flown from Mexico to the U.S. Thursday to face criminal charges, the Justice Department announced.
His name is Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Loera but he's best known as "El Chapo," the leader of Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel.
The Justice Department thanked the Mexican government for its cooperation in sending El Chapo to the U.S., where he has already been indicted in six different cases.
El Chapo escaped from a Mexican prison in 2001, was recaptured in 2014, and escaped again in 2015 by tunneling out of a maximum security facility. He was captured again a year ago, Univision recounts.
The network explains that Mexico's foreign ministry approved his extradition to the U.S. last May but since then El Chapo's lawyers have been appealing the decision. Two recent rulings by Mexico's Supreme Court mean the appeals have now been exhausted. One of El Chapo's lawyers told Univsion now "we can only cry."
Agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration took custody of El Chapo in Ciudad Juarez on Friday afternoon, CBS News reports, and put him on a plane bound for New York. His most recent U.S. indictment was in Brooklyn, where he was charged with 16 drug counts last May, the network says.
As one of the world's most wanted criminals for more than a decade, El Chapo took on a larger-than-life status. As the New York Times puts it, some saw him as a modern-day Robin Hood figure "...revered for his fight against the government and generosity to the poor. For others, he was a heartless criminal who flooded America’s streets with narcotics and left Mexico’s streets strewn with bodies."
The Justice Department says details about the prosecution of El Chapo are coming soon.