El Chapo Gets Life in Prison, Forfeits $12 Billion in Drug Profits

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The trial of El Chapo, is the reputed boss of the Sinaloa Cartel, featured 57 witnesses and 200 pages of testimony. Photo by jesica roldan via Flickr

The leader of what has been called the world’s largest drug cartel will spend the rest of his life in a U.S. prison.

Notorious drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera was formally sentenced Wednesday to life in prison plus 30 years on drug trafficking and weapons charges, reports USA Today.

Speaking briefly at the hearing, the 62-year-old former head of of Mexico’s Sinaloa narcotics cartel claimed his trial was “stained” by juror misconduct.

The three-month trial involved 57 witnesses and extensive testimony, combined with hard evidence like wiretapped phone calls, intercepted text messages. It took six days for the jury to reach a verdict last February.

Guzman was also ordered to forfeit $12,666,191,704 based on the quantity and the value of the drugs in his crimes. There were no details available on how much, if any, money is actually available.

Guzmán, who did not testify in his own defense during the trial, complained to the judge Wednesday about conditions in jail, saying the water was unsanitary and that he was denied sufficient access to his wife and young daughters.

Additional Reading:  Catching a Drug Lord, the Hunt for el Chapo and the Deadly Lessons of the Opioid Crisis, The Crime Report March 20, 2019

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