The White House commended Mexico on its capture of drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, who escaped twice from Mexican prison and faces drug trafficking charges in the U.S.. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) The White House on Monday commended Mexico on its capture of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who escaped twice from Mexican prison and faces drug trafficking charges in the United States. "The capture of Mr. Guzman has been a high priority for both Mexico and the United States," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said at a news briefing. The infamous head of the Sinaloa drug cartel was arrested on Friday after a months-long manhunt that followed his escape - by tunneling out - from a Mexican maximum security prison in July. Mexico is formally starting extradition proceedings against Guzman, President Enrique Pena Nieto's government said late on Sunday, in the strongest sign yet that it intends to send him to the United States. But the process could take a year or more. The U.S. government wants Guzman, who is believed to be 58 years old, tried on charges ranging from money laundering to drug trafficking, kidnapping and murder. Guzman, who is blamed for thousands of deaths in Mexico and the United States from addiction and gang warfare, is facing open federal indictments in seven U.S. jurisdictions. Chicago and Brooklyn, New York are leading contenders to host what would be one of the highest profile U.S. criminal trials in years, former U.S. law enforcement officials said. Chicago, which in 2013 dubbed Guzman its first Public Enemy No.1 since Al Capone, has a sweeping 2009 indictment against him, including several counts of conspiring to smuggle and distribute drugs, as well as money laundering charges.