NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán is one of the major players in what may very well be the world's largest business -- illicit drugs. And he may be extradited to Brooklyn.
So I sat down with one of the world's leading experts on international money laundering, Jeffrey Robinson. Author of "The Laundrymen," "The Merger," "The Sink," and "The Takedown," Robinson doesn't talk to the media often, but he talked to us about dirty money and El Chapo's big business in the United States.
Robinson says El Chapo is responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in the U.S. So how has he gotten all of that dirty money in and out of America? Cash cards. Robinson says Mexican drug cartels often use value-added cash cards to move money.
A huge number of gun stores are found along the U.S-Mexican border from California all the way through Texas. Robinson says the drug cartels often use cash cards to buy weapons along the border, which they bring into the U.S. Otherwise, they'll bring the cash cards into the country and use them to pay their foot soldiers, and everyone else.
El Chapo's drug empire is just one part of the enormous illegal drug industry around the world.
Robinson says that some years ago, the United Nations decided that illicit drugs were the world's largest cash crop and that more money was spent globally on drugs than on food.
Over the last few days, El Chapo has said he will come the U.S but only if he is put in a medium-security prison, not a likely scenario given his history of breaking out of prison.
If El Chapo is extradited, Robinson says, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District, based in Brooklyn, is ready. Prosecutors would charge him immediately and hold him without bail in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. Robinson says that is where El Chapo would sit until trial, but he thinks El Chapo is more likely to try his luck in Mexico.
Robinson says the last thing a drug lord wants is to be extradited to the United States where he can't bribe or threaten the judges, bribe law enforcement, or escape from prison.