By Eric Lichtblau for The New York Times. WASHINGTON — Back in 1995, a federal grand jury in San Diego charged a little-known Mexican drug trafficker named Joaquín Guzmán Loera and 22 underlings with creating a cocaine ring that stretched from Southern California to New Jersey.
Over the next two decades, as Mr. Guzmán’s infamy grew and he became known simply by his nickname — El Chapo, or “Shorty” — the American authorities would charge him seven more times in courtrooms in Brooklyn, Chicago, Miami and other cities where his sprawling drug network had wreaked havoc.
Prosecutors argued that his network moved hundreds of thousands of pounds of cocaine — worth billions of dollars — onto American streets.
But despite multiple requests by the United States for Mexico to extradite him, the elusive fugitive still has never set foot in an American courtroom.