'El Chapo' Lawyers File Petition to Block U.S. Extradition

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Attorneys for notorious drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman have filed a petition asking a Mexican court to block any extradition requests from the United States.

Guzman was captured by Mexican marines on Saturday inside a Mazatlan condo tower in a pursuit aided by U.S. law enforcement agencies.

He is under indictment in at least seven U.S. jurisdictions on a variety of charges.

The Justice Department was expected to decide which jurisdiction would be first to prosecute Guzman, or if the cases would be combined if he was brought to the United States.

Also Monday, Mexico’s Federal Judicial Council said drug lord had been formally charged under a 2009 Mexican indictment for cocaine trafficking, the Associated Press reported.

A judge has until Tuesday to decide whether a trial is warranted, and then Guzman can appeal in a process that could take months.

Mexican authorities also will decide whether to renew charges against Guzman, who escaped from a Mexican prison in 2001 while he was serving a sentence on convictions for criminal association and bribery. He was also awaiting trial on charges of murder and drug trafficking.

Guzman is being held in a maximum security prison west of Mexico City.

Security experts have said that if he stays in Mexico there are risk he could escape or continue to control his drug empire from inside prison.

On Monday, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency called the arrest of Guzman "a significant achievement for Mexico and a major step forward in our shared fight against transnational organized crime, violence, and drug trafficking."

—Jeff Black and The Associated Press