NEW YORK (NBC) – Accused Mexican drug cartel kingpin Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman will be tried in U.S. Federal Court.
Guzman appeared before a federal judge in Brooklyn Friday, less than a day after his surprise extradition to from Mexico.
Guzman is officially charged with 17 counts including drug trafficking, money laundering, murder and kidnapping in several U.S. Cities, including Miami, Chicago and New York.
Prosecutors say for three decades, he ran the Sinaloa Cartel, which shipped tons of heroin and cocaine to the United States and helped fuel the country’s drug epidemic in the 80s and 90s.
“This is a powerful individual, a powerful criminal, the most notorious criminal of modern times,” said the Department of Homeland Security’s Angel Melendez.
Prosecutors have sought to bring Guzman to the U.S. to face charges for decades. Instead, he made brazen prison escapes and spent years on the run, only to be recaptured a year ago during a shootout with police in Mexico.