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Brooklyn to bring El Chapo to justice

Cuffed: Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman is nicknamed “El Chapo” — meaning “shorty” — for his 5-foot-6 stature.
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It is the Borough of King-pins.

Brooklyn will bring notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to justice, following his surprise extradition from Mexico to New York on Thursday night.

El Chapo — or “shorty,” for his diminutive 5-foot-6 stature — will be arraigned in Downtown’s federal courthouse on Friday, and although he is infamous for twice breaking out of Mexican prisons, local law enforcement officials claim there will be no escaping the slammer or punishment here.

“He’s about to face American justice in a city that’s foundation is bedrock — as strong as the will of the citizens that live in the city,” said Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent Angel Melendez at a press conference on Friday morning. “I assure you that no tunnel will be built leading to his bathroom.”

The narcotics bigwig faces a 17-count indictment for money laundering and drug manufacturing and distribution, and faces life behind bars — American authorities had to agree to forgo the death penalty to secure Mexico’s participation.

Several other cities were gunning to be the ones to throw the book at El Chapo, but Brooklyn managed to secure the big scalp — in a joint indictment with Miami — because we have the strongest case, according to Capers.

“Of all of the various cases, the partnerships that had been formed between our districts … had the most forceful punch,” said the legal eagle.

The fact that Capers’s predecessor Loretta Lynch is now attorney general probably didn’t hurt, either.

El Chapo was held in a Manhattan jail on Thursday night, according to a New York Post report, but Capers refused to say whether he will stay there for the rest of the trial or be moved to local lockups in Sunset Park or Downtown.

Capers said he expects the trial to last “multiple weeks.”

Reach deputy editor Ruth Brown at rbrown@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8309. Follow her at twitter.com/rbbrown.

Updated 1:46 pm, January 20, 2017
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