The world’s most notorious drug kingpin is facing a trial in Kings County.
Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman could spend time behind bars in Sunset Park and go before a judge at Downtown’s federal courthouse if Attorney General Loretta Lynch sends him to be tried in her old stomping grounds following his expected extradition from Mexico.
Brooklyn prosecutors aren’t the only ones looking to get their hands on Guzman — as leader of the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel, which has smuggled billions of dollars worth of cocaine and other illicit drugs over American borders, he has earned indictments from cities across the United States, including Chicago and Miami.
But the borough has a home-court advantage — as U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York, Lynch signed a massive 21-count indictment from her office in Brooklyn in Sept. 2014, leveling an exhaustive list of charges, including drug trafficking and murder, against the diminutive drug lord.
And officials are already predicting that Lynch, who has the final say over which court will decide El Chapo’s fate, will send the narcotics bigwig back to Brooklyn to be charged under the indictment she signed, according to a New York Times report.
If he does come to Kings County, El Chapo — whose nickname means “Shorty” — will likely be on trial at the borough’s futuristic courthouse on Cadman Plaza East. And Chances are good he will spend his time outside of court at the Metropolitan Detention Center on 29th Street between Second and Third avenues — an administrative detention facility capable of housing nearly 3,000 inmates of all security levels.
Authorities collared Guzman on Jan. 8 following his escape from a maximum security prison in Mexico in July via a nearly mile-long tunnel beneath the facility.
The recent escape — El Chapo’s second since his first arrest in 1993 — has led to increased pressure for Guzman’s extradition to the United States.
El Chapo, of course, should not be confused with Rich “El Guapo” Garces, a rotund reliever for the Boston Red Sox in the late ’90s and early aughts.