MEXICO CITY -- Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, Mexico’s most notorious cartel kingpin who twice made brazen prison escapes and spent years on the run as the country’s most wanted man, is in the U.S. after being extradited from Mexico on Thursday to face drug trafficking and other charges.
The plane carrying Guzman landed at MacArthur Airport in Islip, Long Island, Thursday evening after about a four-hour flight from Mexico.
Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department announced Guzman was handed over to U.S. authorities for transportation to the U.S. on Thursday, the last day of President Obama’s administration and a day before Donald Trump is to be inaugurated.
A senior law enforcement official said the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration took custody of Guzman in Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, and a plane carrying him departed for New York at 5:31 p.m. Eastern time. The officials agreed to give the information only if not quoted by name because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
CBS News obtained exclusive photos of his arrival.
The charges against him were developed by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the DEA.
He was flown on a Mexican jet accompanied by DEA agents, medics and mechanics, law enforcement sources told CBS News senior investigative producer Pat Milton.
He was expected to be transported under heavy security by caravan to Brooklyn from MacArthur Airport. He is due to be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn Friday morning, Milton reported.
New York is one of several U.S. jurisdictions where Guzman faces charges.
The DOJ most recently indicted him on a new set of charges in Brooklyn in May 2016 on 16 drug related counts, CBS News justice reporter Paula Reid reported. Guzman will face trial in Brooklyn, the DOJ said.
“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 DOJ said in a statement.
The convicted Sinaloa cartel boss has been held most recently in a prison near the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez.
The leader of the Sinaloa cartel has twice escaped from maximum-security prisons in Mexico, most recently in 2015. He was recaptured in January and is currently imprisoned in the northern border state of Chihuahua.
CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan reported that, according to diplomatic sources, the extradition was done as a “goodwill gesture” to the U.S. and a sign of cooperation with the incoming and outgoing administrations.
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