US Extradition Request for Newly-Captured Drug Lord 'El Chapo' Has Been Initiated, Mexico Says

PHOTO: Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, right, is escorted by soldiers and marines to a waiting helicopter, at a federal hangar in Mexico City, Jan. 8, 2016. PlayMarco Ugarte/AP Photo
WATCH Infamous Drug Lord 'El Chapo' Captured In Mexico

The United States' extradition request for infamous Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has been initiated, according to the Mexican Attorney General.

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In June and August of 2015, the U.S. presented "formal petitions" for Guzman's extradition, the Mexican Attorney General's office said.

He had been charged with drug trafficking and related crimes in several U.S. District Courts, including Arizona, Southern California, Texas, Illinois, New York and Florida, according to the state department.

"The first U.S. indictment against Guzman-Loera was unsealed in San Diego on September 28, 1995, charging him and 22 members of his organization with conspiracy to import over eight tons of cocaine and money laundering," the state department said.

The Mexican government approved the petitions, and now with Guzman's recapture, "both extradition requests presented by the USA will initiate," the Mexican Attorney General's office said.

Guzman, who is now back in custody after months on the run, has three days to "pose exceptions" and 20 additional days to "prove them," the Mexican Attorney General's office said.

Guzman was captured Friday after months on the run, and was sent back to the same prison he escaped from in July.

He escaped from the Altiplano prison near Mexico City July 11, launching an active manhunt. When guards realized that he was missing from his cell, they found that a ventilated tunnel had been constructed and had an exit via the bathtub inside Guzman's cell. The tunnel extended for about a mile underground and featured an adapted motorcycle on rails that officials believe was used to transport the tools used to create the tunnel, Monte Alejandro Rubido, the head of the Mexican national security commission, said in July.

Guzman had been sent to Altiplano after he was arrested in February 2014. He spent more than 10 years on the run after escaping from a different prison in 2001. It's unclear exactly how he had escaped, but he did receive help from prison guards who were prosecuted and convicted.

Guzman, the leader of the Sinaloa cartel, was once described by the U.S. Treasury as "the most powerful drug trafficker in the world." The Sinaloa cartel allegedly uses elaborate tunnels for drug trafficking and has been estimated to be responsible for 25 percent of all illegal drugs that enter the U.S. through Mexico.

Guzman has also long been ranked among the richest men in the world by Forbes. Drug enforcement experts have conservatively estimated the cartel's revenues at more than $3 billion annually.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.