CHICAGO (WLS) --It's moving day for Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, but he's not coming to Chicago to stand trial. Instead he's being moved to another prison in Mexico, from which he has previously escaped.
It may seem like locking the fox in the hen house; Guzman has been ordered transferred from the prison where he's been for the past few months back to the prison that he tunneled out of in an embarrassing escape a year ago.
American authorities had hoped that Chapo's next road trip would be northbound across the border to stand trial in the United States.
Federal prosecutors in Chicago hope El Chapo will be extradited here, where authorities say he controlled 80 percent of the city's drug trafficking for decades. His Sinaloa cartel had a network of gang leaders and street dealers in Chicago.
In the summer of 2015 the narco boss escaped Altiplano Maximum Security Prison in Central Mexico through an elaborate tunnel that his underlings had constructed.
Shortly after he was recaptured in January and put back in Altiplano, Guzman was transferred to a holding facility just south of the Texas border while American authorities worked out extradition details. Now a Mexican judge has ruled that Guzman's transfer from Altiplano was unauthorized and the judge has ordered him sent back to the very place he tunneled out of.
That is exactly what the drug lord wanted and his defense team had requested in a court motion claiming prison officials unlawfully moved him to the facility across the border from El Paso, Texas.
Defense attorneys suggested Mexican officials were toying with El Chapo and trying to derail his defense.
The decision to send him back to Mexico City is just the latest crimp in the case. In June, Mexican judges temporarily halted Chapo's extradition altogether pending the outcome of his appeals.
The man called "Shorty" behind his back contends that the statute of limitations has run out on some of the charges against him.
El Chapo's attorneys believe the prison transfer could happen soon, but Mexican officials indicate they may try to stall the move. The Sinaloa cartel has recently been in upheaval as El Chop's future is in flux. Last week, his youngest son was kidnapped from a restaurant in Puerto Vallarta by drug rivals. He was released five days later.