Transcript for Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman Makes 1st US Court Appearance
discussed earlier, but there is another major headline this morning, the Mexican drug lord known as El Chapo appeared before a federal judge right here in New York City. This has been a long time coming. Joaquin Guzman was first sought two decades ago being arraigned on charges of running a massive and murderous drug trafficking operation. ABC's Eva pilgrim has the story. Reporter: This morning, the world's most notorious drug kingpin is waking up in one of the most secure lockups in the United States. The metropolitan correctional center in New York City. Joaquin Guzman, he is a man known for no other life than a life of crime, violence, death and destruction. And now he'll have to answer to that. Reporter: Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman appearing in federal court facing a 17-count indictment including drug trafficking and conspiracy to commit murder. He pleaded not guilty. I haven't seen any evidence that indicates to me that Mr. Guzman's done anything wrong. Reporter: In federal court documents prosecutors give a detailed inventory of more than 270 tons of cocaine Guzman and his cartel are accused of smuggling into the U.S. The kingpin allegedly funneled the billions of dollars in profit back across the border using trucks with hidden compartments. How he managed to flood the United States with narcotics from South America and Mexico included the use of aircraft, trains, tractor trailers and any type of boat imaginable. Reporter: Beyond the drugs el Chapo is accused of hiring hit men to carry out hundreds of violent acts of murder, kidnappings and torture. The narco king escaping multiple times most recently tunneling out of a Mexican jail eluding authorities to use his expansive network to hide out. I assure you no tunnel will be built leading to his bathroom. Reporter: Just to give you a sense of how secure this area is, there are cameras around here that can read a newspaper a block away. Especially is facing a sentence of life in prison if convicted. Dan and Paula. Eva pi, thank you very much.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.