Mexican drug cartel boss, lord Joaquín Guzmán Loera known as “El Chapo” has been found guilty after a three-month drug trial and to face life in prison in a U.S. court on Tuesday of drug trafficking.
Jurors in a federal court in Brooklyn have delivered a guilty verdict on all 10 charges after hearing testimony from 56 witnesses for over 200 hours in total.
U.S. prosecutors said he trafficked tons of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine into the United States over more than two decades, consolidating his power in Mexico through murders and wars with rival cartels.
The drug baron lord was extradited to the United States for trial in 2017 after he was arrested in Mexico the year before.He was accused of trafficking tons of illicit drugs on several separate occasions, organizing a murder conspiracy and illegal use of firearms.
Guzmán Loera,ran the Sinaloa drug cartel for decades, he was a key player in the Mexican drug cartel landscape. Unlike other people in a similar position, Guzman would not plead guilty and went for a public trial after being extradited to the US.
Guzmán’s lawyers said they will appeal in a higher court. They said Guzmán had expected the guilty verdict. “I’ve never faced a case with so many cooperating witnesses and so much evidence,” Jeffrey Lichtman, one of Guzmán’s lawyers said.
Guzman’s former associates, including a bodyguard, several lieutenants and a mistress, told the court about his large-scale criminal enterprise that was as complex as a big international corporation.
The defense team called only one witness and was trying to question the credibility of the prosecution witnesses during the trial.
He used elaborate cross-border tunnels to smuggle drugs to the US, detailed accounting of criminal proceeds, encrypted communication through Canada-based servers and an entire fleet of vehicles.
The cartel relied heavily on corruption in Mexico, with bribes paid to officials allegedly including the former president Enrique Pena Nieto, as well as violence against both competition and law enforcement.