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'El Chapo' defense files injunctions to prevent extradition to California, Texas

By
Andrew V. Pestano
Joaquin El Chapo Guzman, who was recaptured in January after escaping from a Mexican prison in July, is currently imprisoned in Ciudad Juarez prison as he appeals a U.S. extradition. Guzman's lawyers recently filed two injunctions to prevent extradition to the U.S. states of California and Texas. Photo courtesy of Mexico's Attorney General
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who was recaptured in January after escaping from a Mexican prison in July, is currently imprisoned in Ciudad Juarez prison as he appeals a U.S. extradition. Guzman's lawyers recently filed two injunctions to prevent extradition to the U.S. states of California and Texas. Photo courtesy of Mexico's Attorney General

MEXICO CITY, June 28 (UPI) -- Drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's lawyers on Monday filed two injunctions to his prevent extradition to the U.S. states of California and Texas.

Guzman's defense team argues that the charges issued by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in 1996 of racketeering, and cocaine import and possession with intent to distribute have expired as per a statute of limitations.

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As for Texas' charges against Guzman of conspiracy, organized crime, crimes against public health, weapons possession, murder and money laundering -- the defense argues that there is not enough evidence for a trial, stating three of four witnesses have said they do not know Guzman.

"There is insufficient evidence to prosecute Joaquin under the law of the United States. Of the events accused by the United States, there is no data that he participated in them -- apart from that there are other irregularities," José Refugio Rodríguez, one of Guzman's lawyers, said on Monday, adding that Guzman's appeals could take up to three years to conclude.

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Mexico's Foreign Ministry in May approved the United States' request for extradition.

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Guzman's defense has said it is prepared to take the drug kingpin's appeals against extradition to United States up to Mexico's Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, El Universal reported.

Guzman's Sinaloa Cartel is credited with dominating the illegal drug market in nearly the entire United States. "El Chapo" -- meaning "The Short One" or "shorty" -- so dubbed because of his 5-foot-6-inch frame, was detained in Guatemala in 1993 and then extradited to Mexico to face murder and drug trafficking charges.

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He escaped from prison in 2001 by hiding in a laundry cart after bribing prison guards, and was re-captured in February 2014. He was captured in the city of Los Mochis in his home state of Sinaloa on Jan. 8 after escaping again, this time from Mexico's Altiplano Federal Prison on July 11.

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