El Chapo, the notorious Mexican drug lord, has been found guilty on drug trafficking charges at his New York City trial and will now spend the rest of his life in a US prison.
The drug dealer, whose real name is Joaquin Guzman, was convicted on all 10 counts that were presented to the jury.
They included seven drug trafficking charges, one count of engaging in a criminal enterprise, one count of money laundering and one charge of firearms offenses.
The 61-year-old’s wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, was among those in the courtroom on Tuesday to see his fate sealed.
At one point during the proceedings on Tuesday, he turned to look at her and smiled.
The 29-year-old smiled in response and placed one hand on her heart. They have been married since she was 18.
He appeared emotionless throughout the proceedings, according to witnesses in the courtroom, and said nothing as the verdict was delivered.
El Chapo, the notorious Mexican drug lord, was found guilty on Tuesday of drug trafficking, criminal enterprise and firearms offenses after a three-month trial in Brooklyn. He will now likely spend the rest of his life in a US prison. He is shown in his 2016 mugshot
The 61-year-old’s wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, was seen arriving at the Brooklyn courthouse where the trial is taking place during a snowstorm on Tuesday morning. At one point during the proceedings on Tuesday, he turned to look at her and smiled. The 28-year-old smiled in response and placed one hand on her heart. They have been married since she was 18
The trial included testimony from former associates and employees of the drug kingpin who is considered one of the most dangerous men in the world.
Count 1 – Engaging in a criminal enterprise
Count 2 – International Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine and Marijuana Manufacture and Distribution Conspiracy
Count 3 – Cocaine Importation Conspiracy
Count 4 – Cocaine Distribution Conspiracy
Count 5 – International Distribution of Cocaine
Count 6 – International Distribution of Cocaine
Count 7 – International Distribution of Cocaine
Count 8 – International Distribution of Cocaine
Count 9 – Use of firearms
Count 10 – Conspiracy to launder narcotics proceeds
They spoke at length about how he ordered killings and controlled a multi-billion dollar Mexican cartel including when he was on the run from Mexican authorities after breaking out of prison.
El Chapo’s defense spent just 30 minutes trying to negate the weeks of witness testimony.
They claimed he is being framed and that the real leader of the Sinaloa cartel is someone else.
Initially, El Chapo was indicted on 17 counts.
The jury however had to decide on 10.
They were weapons offenses, money laundering, criminal enterprise and, predominantly, drug trafficking.
Tuesday’s verdict is the drug dealer’s third conviction.
He has escaped from Mexican prison twice in the last 20 years but was handed over to the US in January 2016 by President Enrique Nieto who has been accused of taking pay-offs from the very cartel that Guzman runs in exchange for leaving him alone.
Nieto has always denied the allegations.
Since he was brought to the US, Guzman has been held in solitary confinement in prisons in Manhattan and in a secret location for the duration of his trial.
When it began, the NYPD had to close the Brooklyn Bridge to ensure there was no interference as he was transported to the courthouse for the first time in an extraordinary security measure.
The trial, which began in November, has attracted Mexican television stars and the gaze of the world’s media.
It was not without obstacle.
No cameras have been allowed in the courtroom since the start of the trial but the defendant has been depicted in sketches such as this one
El Chapo was finally captured for the last time in Mexico in 2016 after being on the run for more than a year. He has broken out of prison twice over the last 20 years to the mortification of the Mexican authorities he and his cronies have long-claimed are corrupt
In this 2016 image taken inside his prison cell in Mexico, El Chapo is seen staring at the ceiling
Among the most challenging stages was jury selection when dozens of people had to be discounted after admitting that they would fear for their life if they were selected.
Others were rejected after confessing to admiring Guzman including one man who even asked a court bailiff to help him get the defendant’s autograph.
There were allegations at one stage that the defendant was secretly communicating with his former beauty queen wife who was seen using a forbidden cell phone during some proceedings.
FBI agents also testified in addition to the criminals the defendant once employed.
Part of his defense was that they could not be trusted because they were violent criminals.
Before the case even reached trial, his attorneys argued that he had been mistreated while in custody and that his health was declining.
They suggested that he was losing his mind as a result of the solitary confinement he was subjected to and that his memory was also imploding.
During the course of the trial, the only people who were allowed to visit him were his twin seven-year-old daughters.