Mexican authorities on Sunday extradited an associate of jailed drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman aka El Chapo to the United States. According to international media reports, the person extradited to the United States is identified as Jose Sanchez Villalobos, who is accused of being a financial operator and tunnel builder for El Chapo. Sanchez was handed over to authorities at California federal court in the United States where he is wanted for organised crime charges.
Sanchez was detained for a brief period of time by the Mexican authorities in 2012. Sanchez was wanted for cocaine trafficking charges in the United States at the time of his detention in 2012. Sanchez is suspected of building underground tunnels and was known as 'The Lord of the tunnels' by his associates. According to media reports, Sanchez helped Sinaloa cartel move drugs into the United States for a long period of time.
Guzman founded the Sinaloa cartel in 1988 and oversaw operations whereby mass cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, and heroin were produced, smuggled into and distributed throughout the United States. At one point in time, the Sinaloa cartel controlled a vast area of territory in Mexico. US Drug Enforcement Agency estimated that at one time he matched the influence and wealth of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. Guzman was captured by Mexican authorities in 2016 and was extradited to the United States in 2017. A week before he was caught, Guzman reportedly attended a family reunion in Sinaloa.
On February 12, 2019, Guzman as found guilty of all counts and was sentenced to life imprisonment plus 30 years on July 17, 2019. The court also ordered to forfeit Guzman's wealth of more than $12.6 billion. Chapo is currently serving his sentence at ADX Florence, America's most secure prison facility.