Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has famously escaped twice from maximum security prisons in Mexico, which is why it was a shock when El Chapo was moved to a lesser security prison near the U.S. border over the weekend. But it looks like it is all part of the plan to send El Chapo here to New York.
El Chapo is one of the major players in what may very well be one of the world's largest businesses: drugs.
And it looks like that major player is finally coming to Brooklyn. A federal judge in Mexico gave the OK to extradite the drug lord to New York.
Over the weekend El Chapo was moved to a prison in Ciudad Juarez, closer to the Texas-Mexico border, raising eyebrows because that city is controlled by El Chapo's Sinaloa Cartel. But the move was likely made to get ready to send El Chapo our way.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District, located in Brooklyn, is all set for El Chapo, said Jeffrey Robinson, one of the world's leading experts on international money laundering. Robinson, author of The Laundrymen, The Merger, The Sink, and The Takedown, said El Chapo will be flown into Kennedy or LaGuardia and will be immediately charged and held without bail in the MDC, the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
We sat down with Robinson two months ago to talk about what extradition to New York will look like for the drug lord. Robinson said that after El Chapo is charged with murder, kidnapping and drug smuggling, he will await trial in a cell in a special unit of the MDC called the SHU (which stands for Special Housing Unit) on the top floor.
El Chapo's cell with be 8 feet by 14 feet, with a small strip of light at the top so he won't be able to see out, according to Robinson. He said El Chapo will have no comforts, and won't be able to leave, except for an hour each day when he'll be able to run or exercise. His only visitors will be his lawyers.
El Chapo's extradition could happen as early as June, but his lawyer said at least 9 appeals could slow down the transfer.
Robinson said he expects El Chapo will fight until the bitter end to stay out of Brooklyn. The last thing, he said, any of these "clowns" want is to be extradited to the United States, where they can't bribe the judges, can't threaten the judges, can't bribe law enforcement, and can't escape from prison.