Mexico official: 'El Chapo' could be sent to US early 2017

Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, stands for his prison mug shot with the inmate number 3870 at the Altiplano maximum security federal prison in Almoloya, Mexico, Jan. 8, 2016. (Mexico's federal government via AP)

Mexico's national security commissioner says jailed drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman could be extradited to the United States by early next year.

Renato Sales tells Televisa it could happen "in January or February."

A lawyer for Guzman said recently that a court could rule on his extradition around the end of the year. But he says either side would then be able to appeal.

Sales also said in the interview posted online Friday that the Sinaloa drug cartel boss "is not running absolutely anything from prison."

He added that Guzman is under special surveillance due to his two previous prison breaks and cannot mix with the general population.

In Sales' words, "He is not in a five-star hotel."

The U.S. wants Guzman on drug trafficking and other charges.
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