Monday, 19 August, 2019

Mexican drug lord 'El Chapo' sentenced to life in U.S. prison

Drug kingpin ‘El Chapo’ sentenced to life in US prison El Chapo told he'll die in jail as he says 'there's no justice in US' - Daily Star
Steven Clarke | 19 July, 2019, 18:32

He had previously escaped high-security prisons in Mexico twice, once by digging a mile-long tunnel from his cell.

The trial witnesses, who included some of Guzman's top lieutenants, a communications engineer and a onetime mistress, described how he built a sophisticated organization resembling a multinational corporation.

Before he was sentenced Wednesday, Guzman complained about the conditions of his confinement and told the judge he was denied a fair trial.

When entering and before leaving the courtroom, he touched his heart and blew a kiss to his wife Emma Coronel, who was barred from all contact with him during more than two years of pre-trial detention. Cogan also ordered Guzman to pay NZ$18.7 billion in ill-gotten proceeds - money his drug-trafficking organisation made distributing cocaine and other drugs around the United States.

- 1980s - Guzman rises through the ranks of the illegal drug business under the tutelage of Sinaloan kingpin Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, alias "The Boss of Bosses", who pioneered cocaine smuggling routes into the United States.

Guzman gave her the nickname "Vitamins" because they believed that sexual relations with young partners prolongs his life, told a Colombian drug dealer and former partner of El Chapo Alex Cifuentes.

Molly Crane-Newman, a New York Daily News reporter, jotted down some of El Chapo's statements, noting that he spoke for 15 minutes about a "corrupt" USA government that subjected him to "psychological, emotional and mental torture". Cogan also added 30 years onto the sentence and ordered Guzman to pay 12.6 billion USA dollars in forfeiture to the US government.

It feels like an end of an era for the Mexican drug lord El Chipo Guzman has finally been sentenced for life imprisonment under the USA government, this puts a humble end to all the drug deals, killing of people, abduction, and corruption.

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Prosecutors said Guzman will be serving his sentence behind "tons of steel", a reference to a heavily guarded jail in Colorado.

El Chapo's trial has been highly-publicized with many media outlets camping outside the court to get exclusive scoops on his legal developments. Prosecutors have called him a "ruthless and bloodthirsty leader" of the Sinaloa cartel and are seeking a life sentence.

He earned billions of dollars while serving as the head of the cartel, which government researchers dubbed the "most powerful drug trafficking syndicate in the Western Hemisphere".

He also claimed his "unfair" trial had been tainted by juror misconduct.

It's likely whatever he says on Wednesday will stick to the defense script that he was the fall guy for other kingpins who were better at paying off top Mexican politicians and law enforcement officials to protect them while the US government looked the other way. United States authorities have kept him in an ultra-secure unit at a Manhattan jail and under close guard at his appearances at the Brooklyn courthouse where his case unfolded. He was brought to NY, where he remained through his trial and sentencing.

After being extradited 30 months ago, he will spend the rest of his life in prison in the US.

El Chapo is likely to be sent to Supermax prison in Colorado. The government says the guilty verdict at an 11-week trial triggered a mandatory sentence of life without parole.

Despite Guzman's downfall, the Sinaloa Cartel had the biggest U.S. distribution presence of Mexican cartels as of previous year, followed by the fast-growing Jalisco New Generation Cartel, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The defense said he was framed.

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