Mexican drug cartel leader El Chapo found guilty, faces life in prison

“El Chapo” Found Guilty On 10 Counts In New York Trial

Jurors in federal court in Brooklyn found Guzman, 61, head of the Sinaloa Cartel, guilty on all 10 counts.

The 61-year-old was found guilty today by a NY court of operating the huge criminal enterprise and is expected to be given life in prison. He was free at that point after a dramatic escape in which he tunneled out of a Mexican prison.

In this courtroom drawing, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, centre, sits at the defence table while listening to the judge addressing the jury during his long-running drug trafficking trial in NY.

The notorious cartel boss, born Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, has been on trial in NY, which featured testimony from multiple witnesses. "It made me very proud to be an American", Cogan said of the US jury system. For instance, they saw proof of drugs pouring into the USA through secret tunnels or hidden in tanker trucks or the undercarriage of passenger cars.

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Guzman, whose nickname means "Shorty", was extradited to the United States for trial in 2017 after he was arrested in Mexico the year before.

Guzman's lawyers did not deny the defendant's charges but argued that he was the victim of government witnesses who were worse than he was.

The witnesses, who included some of Guzman's top lieutenants, a communications engineer and a onetime mistress, described how he built a sophisticated organization reminiscent of a multinational corporation, with fleets of planes and boats, detailed accounting ledgers and an encrypted electronic communication system run through secret computer servers in Canada.

A defense lawyer says Guzman's conviction is "devastating".

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Lichtman said the defense "fought like complete savages" and will appeal the case.

Federal court marshals whisked Guzman out of the courtroom immediately after the judge read the guilty verdict. Colombian trafficker Alex Cifuentes caused a stir by testifying that former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto took a $100 million bribe from Guzman.

One of the trial's most memorable tales came from girlfriend Lucero Guadalupe Sanchez Lopez, who testified she was in bed in a safe house with an on-the-run Guzman in 2014 when Mexican marines started breaking down his door. He took off running.

In 2015, he pulled off another jail break, escaping a maximum-security prison through a 10-metre deep tunnel.

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The drug boss escaped from prison twice - once in 2001 by hiding in a laundry bin, and again in 2014 when he escaped through tunnels on a specially adapted small motorcycle. "He wanted to avoid sitting right there".

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