Mexico Extradites Drug Lord El Chapo to United States

The notorious narcotics dealer will face trial 18 months after breaking out of prison for a second time

Drug cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has been extradited by Mexican authorities to the United States, according to the Associated Press.

Guzman is known as the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, one of the the most powerful and violent drug rings in Mexico. He was recaptured a year ago after making his second successful escape from prison in July 2015, and was cleared for extradition last May.

Shortly before his recapture, Guzman met with actor Sean Penn and Mexican actress Kate Del Castillo, with Penn interviewing Guzman for a Rolling Stone cover story. In the interview, Guzman discussed the extensive drug trafficking network he had built since the early 1980s and noted that the Mexican illegal drug trade would continue without any delay even if he was captured.

“If there was no consumption, there would be no sales,” he said. “It is true that consumption, day after day, becomes bigger and bigger. So it sells and sells.”

Mexican authorities told the BBC that Penn’s visit helped authorities track down Guzman’s location.

According to the AP, Guzman has already been taken into U.S. custody and is being flown to New York to stand trial. The Sinaloa Cartel is still in operation, though it has been in decline since 2010 without Guzman to oversee it, allowing other cartels to take control.