- The Washington Times - Monday, February 24, 2014

The U.S. and Mexico are disputing who will be first to try Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the man who spent 13 years eluding top law enforcement and military investigators while running a worldwide drug operation.

Grand juries in seven different U.S. district courts have handed down indictments on Mr. Guzman, from smuggling in heroin to participating in a criminal business that involved murder, Fox News reported. But in Mexico — where he’s now in custody — the infamous head of the Sinaloa Cartel faces a slew of charges tied to the years of bloody violence that his drug business has fueled.

Mexico isn’t likely to release him to American authorities any time soon, Fox News reported.

The United States issued an extradition order just a few hours after his arrest was made public over the weekend.

“I fully intend for us to have him tried here,” said Jack Riley, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Chicago office, in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Authorities in San Diego, New York and Texas want to try Mr. Guzman, too.

But Mexico may not be so quick to release Mr. Guzman to U.S. authorities.

“It’s going to be a completely political decision,” said George Grayson, a government professor at the College of William and Mary who studies Mexico’s cartels, in Fox News. “It’s going to be framed by how does this help … in next year’s congressional elections.”

Meanwhile, former DEA agent Michael Vigil guessed Mexico would keep him.

“It’s my personal opinion that they are going to say they want to hang on to him simply because of that fact that he is the crown jewel of the Pena Nieto administration, in terms of [Mexico’s government] counter drug efforts,” Mr. Vigil said in the story.

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