Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzman is claiming he was illegally extradited to Brooklyn and demanding a judge toss his case, according to newly filed court documents.
Lawyers for the notorious kingpin, who is slotted to stand trial next year in Brooklyn on a litany of drug charges, allege that Mexican officials only initially agreed to ship the leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel to the U.S. under the conditions he be sent to Texas or California.
The court filings question how, on the same day Guzman was apprehended, the Mexican government suddenly consented to him being put on trial in Brooklyn — somehow circumventing the arduous legal process typically required for extraditions.
The papers additionally challenge the government’s attempts to seize nearly $14 billion in purported drug profits from the kingpin, when that claim was not part of the original agreement with Mexico.
Guzman’s defense team are asking Brooklyn Federal Court Justice Brian Cogan to throw out the indictment, on the grounds it violates the extradition treaty between U.S. and Mexico.
Cogan has yet to rule on the motion.
El Chapo, whose nickname means “Shorty,” faces up to life in prison if convicted on a 17-count indictment charging him with money laundering and manufacturing and distributing a host of drugs as head of the Sinaloa Cartel.
Guzman’s trial is scheduled for April of next year.
The petite drug lord has repeatedly made headlines for a rash of complaints during his tenure at the Manhattan Correctional Complex– including claiming he’s being held under “the worst, most restrictive conditions of any prisoner currently detained” in the whole of the United States.