Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, the infamous Mexican drug lord who escaped twice from maximum-security prisons, was convicted by a U.S. jury of 10 criminal counts in connection with his narcotics empire, a victory for drug-enforcement authorities who had pursued him relentlessly for more than two decades.
Mr. Guzmán, 61 years old, is now expected to spend the rest of his life in a U.S. prison without possibility of parole. As part of the verdict, he was found guilty of leading the Sinaloa cartel in a “continuing criminal enterprise,” which carries a mandatory life sentence. The U.S. promised Mexico it wouldn’t seek the death penalty against him.
“It is a sentence from which there is no escape and no return,” said Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue, calling the verdict a victory for “every family who’s lost a loved one to the black hole of addiction.”
Jurors reached the verdict on the sixth day of deliberations.
They determined the government had proven Mr. Guzmán committed a range of federal crimes across nearly 30 years, including smuggling massive quantities of illegal drugs into the U.S. and conspiring to murder dozens of cartel enemies. Prosecutors have called the Sinaloa cartel the largest drug-trafficking organization in the world.
The judge commended the jurors for their attention to detail in what he called a complicated case. “The way you went about it was really quite remarkable,” he said, adding it made him “proud to be an American.”
Mr. Guzmán’s lawyers said they planned to appeal the verdict, saying they “fought like hell” in the face of overwhelming evidence.https://archive.fo/RlPZphttps://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-jury-convicts-mexico-drug-lord-el-chapo-after-three-month-trial-11549992888