Kingpin "Chapo" captured: What it means for Arizona

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Kingpin "Chapo" captured: What it means for Arizona

By Valerie Cavazos. CREATED Feb 24, 2014

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) -- The world's most powerful drug kingpin has been formally charged with cocaine trafficking. A federal judge in Mexico has until Tuesday to decide whether to bring Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to trial in the United States.

Meantime, many speculate that "El Chapo's" capture is not a crippling blow to his Sinoloa cartel. The impact of his arrest -- too early to tell. "It's an opportunity for these other cartels to take advantage of a weak situation, but we'll see. We'll see how shrewd they are," said Santa Cruz County Sheriff Antonio Estrada.

It's the bloody turf wars between rival cartels that worries Sheriff Estrada. "The potential is obviously there -- fighting amongst each other -- people who will be caught in the crossfire," he said.

Olga Castro has family and friends on both sides of the border. "They feel a fear that what's going to happen now. Who's going to take over and they're really concerned about their lives," said Castro.

The Sinoloa cartel is considered the largest drug trafficking organization in the world. Just last yea, Chicago named Guzman public enemy number one -- a title only given to Al Capone.

Donna Craig, from Chicago, is thrilled Guzman's been captured, but beyond that, she said, "It's just hard to say what this is going to have an effect on the gangs in Chicago but it's true they are fighting all the time over their territories."

And it's likely for the Sinoloa cartel that it'll be business as usual. "The drug trade is not going to stop," said Sheriff Estrada.

So rival cartels could escalate their battles for territory on US soil. However, Sheriff Estrada said not to the violent levels seen on Mexican streets, where innocent people have been caught in the crossfire.

So the bottom line -- the world is watching and waiting for the Sinoloa cartel's next move.