A hush fell over the Brooklyn courtroom moments before Guzman entered Friday.
Best known by the nickname El Chapo, or "Shorty" in Spanish, the diminutive Guzman was extradited on the eve of Donald Trump's inauguration, raising speculation about the timing.
Guzman, the convicted leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel, one of the world's largest drug trafficking organizations, was expected to spend the night in a NY jail before his first appearance in a federal courthouse in Brooklyn today, officials said. But some Mexican officials pointed out that Guzman's extradition came hours before Barack Obama's term ended in a nod to the outgoing president. Mexican officials have repeatedly said they will not pay for a wall.
Charges against him: A 17-count indictment filed in a NY court last May charges Guzman with running a multibillion-dollar drug trafficking operation.
Intel: Prosecutors say Guzman sometimes carried a gold-plated AK-47 rifle and a gold-and-diamond-encrusted.45 mm handgun. Standing just 5 foot 6 inches (167.6 cm), El Chapo was clean-shaven, without his signature mustache, and his hair was close-cropped.
After U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein asked Guzman if he understood the accusations against him, he responded through a Spanish interpreter, "Well, I didn't know until now". The U.S. attorney's office there has substantial experience prosecuting worldwide drug cartel cases and was once led by outgoing U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
An additional hearing was scheduled for February 3. Guzman has fought extradition since his recapture past year. "That is what I can tell you", he was quoted as saying in Penn's article.
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One said the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration took custody of Guzman in Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, and a plane carrying him departed for NY at 5:31 p.m. Now in his late 50s, he faces the possibility of life in a US prison.
The U.S.is seeking a $14 billion forfeiture order as part of its prosecution. "In short, he's a man known for no other life but a life of crime, violence, death and destruction, and now he'll have to answer to that", Capers said.
The convicted Sinaloa cartel boss has been held most recently in a prison near Ciudad Juarez.
Second arrest and escape: Guzman was captured by Mexican special forces in 2014 and sent to a Mexican maximum-security prison.
On Friday he pleaded not guilty to the 17-count indictment and is expected back in court next month.
In a statement, acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates called him the "alleged leader of a multi-billion dollar, multi-national criminal enterprise that funneled drugs onto our streets and violence and misery into our communities". "There was still a chance that he was running the cartel behind bars, but this is a symbolic victory both for the government of Mexico, and the United States". The officials agreed to give the information only if not quoted by name because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. Mexico opposes capital punishment.