El Chapo Found Guilty, Faces Life Sentence

el chapoAP/Getty

El Chapo has been found guilty at his drug trafficking trial in the US today (February 12).

The 61-year-old drug lord, whose real name is Joaquin Guzman, has been on trial in Brooklyn, New York, facing a 17 count indictment which covers nearly three decades of criminal activities.

This was the first time El Chapo has been tried in a US court, and he pleaded not guilty to each charge.

el chapo capturePA Images

He has been found guilty on all 10 counts of drug trafficking related offences.

As reported by CNN, these are:

Engaging in a Continuing Criminal Enterprise
International Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine and Marijuana Manufacture and Distribution Conspiracy
Cocaine Importation Conspiracy
Cocaine Distribution Conspiracy
International Distribution of Cocaine
International Distribution of Cocaine
International Distribution of Cocaine
International Distribution of Cocaine
Use of Firearms
Conspiracy to Launder Narcotics Proceeds

El Chapo has been on trial since November 13. With federal prosecutors saying the drug lord directed huge shipments of heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine.

The kingpin is currently awaiting sentencing, which will take place on June 25, but faces life in prison.

A jury of seven women and five men decided his fate today, ending the lengthy trial.

El ChapoPA

As reported by CNN, the jurors had 200 hours of testimony, boxes upon boxes of evidence, and 60 pages of jury instructions to look at during their deliberation.

They spent 34 hours, over the course of six days, deciding the verdict.

Jimmy Gurulé, a former federal prosecutor, said:

They heard a lot of witnesses, they heard a lot of evidence. I would be a little more concerned if after a day or two they came back with a verdict.

Michael Lambert, an attorney on Guzmán’s defense team, argued the jury may have taken time looking at the credibility of government witnesses.

He said ‘if the case were as simple as the government argued, the jury would be done by now’.

el chapoGetty

CNN described how El Chapo and his wife, beauty queen Emma Coronel, did not react when the jury read out the verdict.

Once the jurors had left the courtroom El Chapo looked over to his wife and waved. Smiling back at him, she touched her hand to her chest.

el chapo wifePA Images

So far, El Chapo is the highest profile Mexican drug cartel boss to stand trial in the US.

Escaping custody in Mexico twice he has avoided arrest on numerous occasions. Captured in 2016 by Mexican marines and Federal Police, he was extradited to the US the following year to face criminal charges.

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