Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to spend the rest of his life in a U.S. prison if convicted on charges that he ran the world’s largest drug-trafficking organization during a decades-long criminal career, according to U.S. prosecutors on Friday.
El Chapo (alyas), once known as one of the world’s most wanted drug kingpin, was scheduled to appear at 2 p.m. EST (1900 GMT) in federal court in Brooklyn on his arraignment over his 17 criminal counts, a day after his surprise extradition from Mexico.
In a news briefing, Robert Capers, US attorney for Eastern District, said the charges Guzman faces carry a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison.
“Who is Chapo Guzman? In short, he’s a man known for no other life but a life of crime, violence, death and destruction, and now he’ll have to answer to that,” Capers said.
Guzman, 59, arrived in a small jet at Long Island’s MacArthur Airport after nightfall on Thursday from a prison in the city of Juarez in the northern state of Chihuahua, where his Sinaloa cartel rules.
As seen on Television footage, just few hours earlier, he was bundled out of the Mexican cell block with his hands cuffed above his bowed head.
The Mexican drug lord is charged in six separate U.S. indictments. He is accused of money laundering and drug trafficking, kidnapping and murder in Chicago, Miami, New York and other cities.
Making him “the most notorious drug trafficker in the world,” U.S. prosecutors said in court papers that Guzman “vigorously fought his extradition to the United States up until the moment” that it was ordered on Thursday.