El Chapo found gulity: Prosecutors say there will be ‘no escape’ for Mexican drug lord | World News
One of the world’s most infamous drug kingpins has been found guilty of drug trafficking, money laundering and the use of firearms by a federal court in Brooklyn.
Two years after he was extradited from Mexico to the United States, 61-year-old Joaquin Guzman – known as El Chapo – now faces life in prison.
Attended daily by his wife Emma, his trial has often felt more like a Hollywood film than anything else.
The jury was shown videos of Mexican military units bashing down the doors of El Chapo’s home, only to discover that he had escaped through a tunnel hidden under a hydraulic bath.
Prosecutors gave evidence that provided an extraordinary glimpse into the brutal and lucrative world of Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, and how El Chapo became its mastermind, moving thousands of kilos of illegal drugs in to the US across its southern border.
The court heard how El Chapo was a man who liked to enjoy his vast wealth – carrying a diamond encrusted handgun, using a gold plated AK47, and even installing a private zoo at one of his properties.
But he was also powerful and ruthless.
The court watched a video of him interrogating a man tied to a post and listened to stories about purpose-built execution chambers and obscene violence.
El Chapo’s former mistress and even his IT man, who tracked and monitored many of El Chapo’s associates, both gave evidence for the prosecution.
One witness even alleged that he bribed Mexico’s former president Enrique Pena Nieto – an accusation the politician dismissed as false.
In the end, the jury was not convinced by El Chapo’s lawyers, who spent just 30 minutes presenting their client’s defence.
They argued that he was simply a scapegoat acting on someone else’s orders.
Instead, the jury found him guilty of all 10 counts and now he faces life in prison. He will be held under the tightest security.
El Chapo has escaped prison in Mexico twice before; once in a laundry cart, and once through a tunnel on a motorbike.
It is why he has been transported to and from his trial in a convoy of armoured vehicles.
The Department of Justice has been taking no chances with their big prize.
Speaking after the conviction, attorney general Richard Donoghue said the result was a “victory for the American people” and that there was “no escape and no return” for El Chapo.
He said Americans had “suffered for so long” with “poison” coming over the southern border, adding that 100,000 lives had been lost in Mexico in drug-related violence.
Mr Donoghue said American lives were lost every day to drug addiction and that the conviction was a “victory” for those who had lost loved ones.
Lawyers for El Chapo later said the defence would appeal the verdict and “continue to fight”.