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Cartel leader cleared for extradition

People in Kentucky may be aware that some criminals can be extradited from other countries to face charges in the United States. On May 20, the Foreign Ministry of Mexico announced that since the United States had agreed to not seek the death penalty against the head of the Sinaloa Cartel, it would allow his extradition to face drug-related charges in multiple U.S. districts.

The man had been imprisoned in a maximum-security prison in Mexico, but he escaped in July 2015. In January, Mexican marines recaptured him during a raid.

Over the next 30 days, the man's lawyers have the option of appealing his extradition. Therefore, it could be as much as a year and a half or longer before he appears in the District Court of the Western District of Texas. There, he is charged with money laundering, organized crime, conspiracy, murder and weapons possession. Afterward, he will also face charges in California for possession with intent to distribute cocaine and importing cocaine.

Even for a person who is not facing drug-related charges as serious as these, charges for drug possession, distribution and other related offenses may still be serious. However, a person facing these types of charges might have some options and may want to discuss them with an attorney. For example, one option might be for the person to provide some information about others who are distributing drugs in exchange for a lighter sentence. Depending on the type of evidence the prosecution has, a person might also want to plead innocent. An attorney may also look at whether a person's civil rights were violated during the investigation and if the charges could be dismissed as a result.

Source: FOX News, "Drug lord 'Chapo' Guzmán's extradition to U.S. cleared by Mexico," May 20, 2016

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