On Tuesday, the notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán was found guilty on all counts.
Prosecutors accused Guzmán of being behind the Sinaloa drug cartel which was one of the biggest drug suppliers to the U.S. The charges included the distribution of drugs, illegal firearm possession, and money laundering, reports BBC.
The 61-year-old Guzmán was arrested in 2016 and extradited to the U.S. in 2017 after successfully escaping from prison two times.
Fox News reports that the 11-week-long trial included tales of “grisly killings, political payoffs, cocaine hidden in jalapeno cans, jewel-encrusted guns and naked escape with his mistress through a tunnel,” and included evidence gathered since the 1980s.
After six days of deliberation, the verdict was read out by a jury, who remained anonymous as a security measure, in a Brooklyn courtroom where his 29-year-old wife, Emma Coronel, was present. Before Guzmán left the courtroom, he and his wife exchanged thumbs-up. CNN reports that she said, “Good, thank you,” when reporters asked her how she felt after the verdict.
The judge who presided over the case, Brian Cogan, said the jurors' dedication was “remarkable,” adding that it made him “very proud to be an American.”
“Minutes ago, a federal jury here in the eastern district convicted Joaquin El Chapo Guzmán Loera on all counts of the federal indictment,” U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue said to reporters after the verdict was read. “In sum, the jury found that Guzmán led the Sinaloa cartel—one of the largest and most dangerous drug cartel in the world—and that he is responsible for violence including murders and the smuggling of massive amounts of narcotics into the United States over a period of decades.”
Guzmán has not yet been sentenced, but Donoghue said he expects the sentence to be “life without the possibility of parole,” adding “it is a sentence for which there is no escape and no return.”
Donoghue added that the verdict is a “victory for the American people who has suffered so long and so much while Guzmán made billions pouring poisoning over our southern border.” It was also a victory for the Mexican people who “have lost more than 100,000 lives in drug-related violence,” he stressed.
“This conviction is a victory for every family who has lost a loved one to the black hole of conviction,” Donoghue said. “There are those who say the war on drugs is not worth fighting, those people are wrong. Every day we lose American lives. Every day harm is inflicted on this country by drug addiction and every seizure, every arrest, and every conviction contributes to a noble to save American lives.”
Donoghue explained that the trial has provided an insight into international drug trafficking unlike any other. “It revealed that Guzmán and his co-conspirators were responsible for smuggling hundreds of tons of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, and marijuana into the United States,” he said. “It also revealed that they were only able to operate on the scale because of endemic corruption. This is unacceptable and it will end. This is a day of reckoning but there are more days of reckoning to come.”
Guzmán’s lawyers are reportedly planning to appeal the verdict.
As The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti reported, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) proposed a bill Monday to use billions of dollars confiscated from Guzmán to help fund President Trump’s proposed wall on the southern border. On Tuesday Cruz introduced his bill titled “Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets To Provide Order, or EL CHAPO Act.”