'El Chapo' Drug Kingpin Found GUILTY on All Charges by Brooklyn Jury
Feb 13 2019
"The panel spent more than five days mulling the drug lord's fate before convicting him on charges of operating a continuing criminal enterprise, use of firearms and various charges of conspiracy to import and distribute cocaine, heroin and marijuana", writes the New York Post.
The cartel boss, who infamously escaped from jail twice, ran a global drug empire and had amassed a fortune of billions of dollars.
The trial testimony lasted almost three months and the jurors have were tasked with deciding on 10 separate counts.
Convicted by a jury of eight women and four men, he could face life in a US maximum-security federal prison.
Guzman, one of the major figures in Mexican drug wars that have roiled the country since 2006, become nearly legendary for escaping from Mexican high-security jails twice and avoiding massive manhunts.
United States prosecutors said he trafficked tonnes of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine into the country over more than two decades, consolidating his power in Mexico through murders and wars with rival cartels.
Guzman sat and showed no emotion while the verdict was read. He did not try to deny his crimes, but instead had his lawyers argue he was merely a fall guy for corrupt government officials guilty of far worse wrongdoing that him.
A NY jury reached a guilty verdict today in the El Chapo trial.
It's been roughly three months since El Chapo's trial began. "We were faced with extraordinary and unprecedented obstacles in defending Joaquin, including his detention in solitary confinement", the statement said, Reuters reported.
Mexico has been mired for 12 years in a deadly military-led war against drug gangs. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was elected past year after promising a change, suggesting a negotiated peace and amnesty for non-violent drug dealers, traffickers, and farmers. The verdict comes following a wildly dramatic, three-month long trial in New York City that involved extreme measures to prevent El Chapo from escaping, such as his accommodations at a Manhattan prison supposedly being even more secure than a SuperMax.
While the trial was dominated by Guzman's near-mythical persona as an outlaw who carried a diamond-encrusted handgun and stayed one step ahead of the law, the jury never heard from Guzman himself, except when he told the judge he wouldn't testify. Perhaps most famously, he escaped a Mexican prison in 2015 through an elaborate tunnel that included an adapted motorcycle on rails.
Outside the court, U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue called it a "day of reckoning", promising the government would continue to root out cartel-related drug-running and corruption.