Newly released footage shows Mexican drug lord El Chapo wiping tears from his eyes as he touched down on US soil following his 2017 arrest.
On Tuesday the trial for the kingpin, whose real name is Joaquin Guzman, neared its end as he was convicted on all 10 counts after the jury spent six days of deliberations and three months of testimony from former associates, employees and FBI agents.
Mexico’s government extradited Guzman in January 2017, a day before Donald Trump took office as US president on vows to tighten border security to halt immigration and drug smuggling.
After Tuesday’s verdict was announced, the Justice Department released footage showing a glassy-eyed Guzman in what appears to be a state of shock as he’s handed over to American authorities and escorted by DEA agents through an air hanger.
In the photographs, the drug lord appears to be in a state of shock as he is handed over to American authorities
After the verdict was announced, the Justice Department released these never-before-seen images of his January 2017 extradition to the US
The footage shows Guzman being handed over to American authorities and escorted by DEA agents through a hanger
El Chapo will spend the rest of his life in US custody.
The charges 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 criminal enterprise count carries a mandatory life sentence. It is not yet known where he will serve his prison term.
He will return to court to be sentenced on June 25.
Among those in the courtroom on Tuesday to watch the infamous drug dealer meet his fate was his 29-year-old, ex-beauty queen wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro.
After the verdict was read out and translated for the defendant, he turned to look at her and blow her a kiss.
She smiled in response and, with tears in her eyes, gave him a thumbs up.
They have been married since she was 18. Coronel has worn headphones throughout the trial so that she could understand the proceedings.
In this courtroom sketch created on Tuesday, Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman and his wife give each other a thumbs up after he was convicted on all ten counts in his drug trafficking trial
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
Emma Coronel Aispuro, El Chapo’s 29-year-old former beauty queen wife, is shown leaving the courthouse after the verdict. She gave him a thumbs up when he learned his fate and had tears in her eyes but they had dried by the time she made her way to a waiting car
Aispuro, who had been posting inspirational quotes about love and loyalty on social media throughout the trial and took part in an interview to paint her husband as a loving father, deleted Instagram after the verdict was delivered.
Her husband appeared emotionless as the verdict was translated to him.
His lawyers have since released a statement to say they plan to appeal the conviction and that he was ‘upbeat’ despite it.
‘The government’s reliance on the testimony of cooperating witnesses laid bare the corruption of the criminal justice system where freedom is traded by the government in exchange for testimony,’ it said.
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.
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 months of witness testimony.
They claimed he is being framed and that the real leader of the Sinaloa cartel is someone else.
After the verdict was returned, members of the defense team described it as ‘devastating’.
Aispuro fought through a sea of photographers and was flanked by NYPD officers in addition to her own, private security to leave the courthouse
Aispuro was escorted by a friend as she left the courthouse amid a sea of media on Tuesday. She was in high spirits, as was her husband, according to his lawyers, despite the verdict
Earlier in the day, she was more downcast as she arrived at the court during a blizzard. She has attended every day of her husband’s trial
In this artist’s sketch created on Tuesday, Guzman and his wife wave at each other after he entered the courtroom
No cameras were allowed inside the courtroom throughout the trial. Another artist’s sketch depicts the jury and Guzman on Tuesday
While it is yet to be confirmed, it is likely El Chapo will serve his life sentence out at the ADX prison complex in Florence, Colorado
Hours before the deliberation, Jeffrey Lichtman, one of his lawyers tweeted a link to The Clash song Guns of Brixton which, with lyrics including ‘When the law break in How you gonna go? Shot down on the pavement or waiting on death row?’ serves as the anthem for going down fighting.
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
Lichtman said after the trial that he can ‘proudly say’ the defense ‘left it all on the battlefield’ by presenting half-an-hour of arguments.
In a press conference afterwards, he said El Chapo was ‘upbeat’ despite the verdict.
‘He was very clear to us, he is a very upbeat guy.
‘Usually it’s the other way around. This is a positive guy, he has always been positive with us.
‘We judge him differently than you judge him. We judge him differently than society judges him… we judge him on how he is with us.
‘He has always been a gentleman, he has always been supportive, he has always been happy and appreciative of all of our efforts,’ he said.
U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan praised jurors for taking their time to meticulously deliberate the charges in the face of global interest and pressure to convict one of the most notorious criminals of all time.
He said their treatment of the trial ‘made him ‘very proud to be an American.’
After the trial, US Attorney Richard Donoghue said El Chapo would have ‘no escape’ from his conviction.
‘It is a sentence from which there is no escape and there is no return.
‘This conviction is a victory for the American people who have suffered for so long and so muhc while Guzman made billions pouring poison over our southern border.
‘This is a victory for the Mexican people who have lost more than 100,000 lives in drug-related violence.
Guzman is pictured being accompanied through an air hanger by DEA agents in January 2017
Triumphant: US Attorney Richard Donoghue said El Chapo would have ‘no escape’ from his conviction
Defense attorneys Jeffrey Lichtman (left) and Eduardo Balarezo (right) are shown arriving for the verdict on Tuesday. Lichtman said afterwards that he could ‘proudly say’ they left it ‘all on the battlefield’. Their defense was just 30 minutes long. The say they plan to appeal the verdict and that the witnesses who testified against their client only did so because they got immunity in exchange
Hours before the verdict was returned, Lichtman tweeted this link to The Clash song Guns of Brixton which serves as an anthem for the notion of going down fighting with lyrics including ‘When the law break in How you gonna go? Shot down on the pavement or waiting on death row’
As has been the case throughout the entirety of the trial, there was increased security on Tuesday
INSIDE THE PRISON WHERE EL CHAPO IS LIKELY TO SPEND THE REST OF HIS LIFE
The kingpin is known as much for jailbreaks as narcotics trafficking, so it’s expected he will be sent to U.S. Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility aka ADX Florence, a super-secure Colorado prison home to America’s most dangerous criminals.
Guzman, 59, was convicted of 10 counts of various drug trafficking charges at a U.S. District Court in Brooklyn on Tuesday.
He was found guilty of running the world’s largest drug smuggling operation during a decades-long criminal career that included the murder of rivals, money laundering and weapons offenses.
As a condition of his extradition, U.S. prosecutors assured Mexican officials that they would not seek the death penalty.
Widely known as Supermax, or ‘Alcatraz of the Rockies,’ the facility opened in 1994 and holds 402 inmates inside specially designed ‘control units’ that function as prisons within prisons
Now the pressure is on the U.S. to make sure Guzman doesn’t make a slippery escape again. The notorious drug lord has already been imprisoned twice and made two escapes from two maximum-security Mexican prisons in 2001 and 2015.
Guzman will probably be sent away to ADX Florence, the one-and-only lockup designed to incarcerate the highest-risk prisoners in the federal penal system, located in Florence, Colorado, 90 miles (144 km) south of Denver.
‘There’s a high likelihood that he would end up at ADX Florence given his history of escaping and his ability to compromise corrections staff in Mexico,’ said Martin Horn, a professor of corrections at City University of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice said in 2017.
Widely known as Supermax, or ‘Alcatraz of the Rockies,’ the facility opened in 1994 and holds 400-plus inmates inside specially designed ‘control units’ that function as prisons within prisons.
Inmates in these units are confined to single-person cells for up to 23 hours a day, depriving them of virtually all contact with the outside world.
It’s currently home to 402 all male inmates.
Among its most infamous residents are Ramzi Yousef, mastermind of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York; convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev; the airline ‘shoe bomber’ Richard Reid; and Unabomber Ted Kaczynski.
It’s also home to 1996 Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph and 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui.
But the prison does hold one familiar face for the drug kingpin: Osiel Cardenas Guillen, the onetime leader of the Gulf cartel who was extradition to the U.S. in 2007 and sentenced to 25 years behind bars in 2010, according to Business Insider.
El Chapo’s new home? A look inside the sterile cells of ADX florence pictured above with stone furniture
Special restrictions are designed not only to prevent escape and keep corrections staff safe but to ensure that the most incorrigible inmates have no means of exerting influence or threats beyond prison walls.
‘The prisoners really have no contact with other prisoners, all their movements are controlled,’ Horn told Reuters. ‘They get limited privileges, limited contacts. … It’s a tough place to do time.’
One 36-year-old former federal prisoner, who spent six years at Supermax between 2008 and 2014 for his involvement in prison riots at two federal lock-ups, said the stark conditions border on the ‘inhumane.’
‘Those guys at Guantanamo had it much better than we did,’ the ex-inmate said, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity. Numerous lawsuits have been filed against the U.S. Bureau of Prisons over living conditions there.
Citing security concerns, U.S. authorities have been tight-lipped about where Guzman will be held while awaiting trial, or where he would be sent if convicted.
Bureau of Prison officials said he’ll be treated as any other inmate.
‘He will be treated as any other offender who is sentenced to a term of imprisonment,’ the BOP said in a statement to Newsweek.
‘It is a victory for every family who have lost a loved one to the black hole of addiction.
‘There are those who say the war on drugs is not worth fighting. Those people are wrong.’
This conviction is a victory for the American people who have suffered for so long and so much while Guzman made billions pouring poison over our southern border
US Attorney Richard Donoghue
He added that the trial ‘pulled back the curtain on international drug dealing’ and said it exposed, for the first time, the ‘endemic corruption’ which facilitates drug trafficking.
‘This is a day of reckoning but there will be more days of reckoning,’ Donoghue added.
Ray Donovan, DEA Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division, added: ‘Joaquin Guzman Loera has been a DEA target from his early days as a transporter, to his role as distributor, and finally head of the most feared cartel in the world- the Sinaloa Cartel.
‘Chapo’s escapes only made us more determined to bring him to the United States to face multiple charges on multiple indictments. And today’s conviction brings justice to not only New Yorkers who lived in a city the Sinaloa Cartel used as a drug distribution hub, but it brings justice to victims of overdose deaths nationwide.’
After the verdict was returned, the Justice Department gave further details of his criminal empire which involved the cartel selling tonnes of drugs to distributors all over the US.
The evidence from the trial included phone calls in which he was recorded ordering his associates to send ‘ice’ – the colloquial term for methamphetamine – to various states across the US.
He also ordered the mass distribution of cocaine, heroin and marijuana across the country. 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.
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
The beginning of the end? El Chapo was arrested in Mexico after meeting with actor Sean Penn and Kate del Castillo while he was on the run from authorities. After his arrest, Mexican officials suggested that their meeting, which Penn wrote about for Rolling Stone, led to his capture
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.
El Chapo timeline: From his first arrest in 1993 to latest conviction
1993: First arrest in Mexico
2001: Breaks out of jail for the first time with help of guards
2014: Is rearrested in Mexico after 13 years on the run
July 2015: Breaks out of prison for a second time through secret tunnel
October 2015: Meets with Sean Penn and Kate Del Castillo in Mexico
Days later, the safe house is raided but he escapes
January 8 2016: Captured in Los Michos
January 9 2016: Sean Penn’s Rolling Stone article is published
January 2017: Extradited back to the US
October 2017: Netflix documentary about meeting from Kate Del Castillo is published
November 2017: El Chapo’s lawyers say his mental health is deteriorating
November 2018: Trial finally begins
February 5: Closing arguments in the trial
February 12: Jury reaches verdict
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.
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.
He has another 11 children by different woman. One of his sons was killed in a parking lot shootout with a rival gang in 2008.
In addition to his life sentence, prosecutors have been seeking $14billion from Guzman.
On Tuesday, Texas Senator Ted Cruz introduced what he is calling the ‘El Chapo Act’ which would make him pay for the president’s border wall.
The wall has been a source of contention for months and led to the government shutdown at the start of the year.
Trump wants $5.7billion from the government to build it.
The rise and fall of El Chapo, Mexico’s most wanted gangster
He is shown in 1993, after his first arrest
Guzman was born in La Tuna, a village in the Sierra Madre mountains in Sinaloa state where smugglers have been growing opium and marijuana since the early 20th century.
He ascended in the 1980s, working with Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, alias ‘The Boss of Bosses,’ who pioneered cocaine smuggling routes into the United States.
The aspiring capo came to prominence in 1993 when assassins who shot dead Roman Catholic Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas claimed they had actually been aiming at Guzman.
Two weeks later, police arrested him in Guatemala and extradited him to Mexico. During his eight-year prison stay, Guzman smuggled in lovers, prostitutes and Viagra, according to accounts published in the Mexican media.
After escaping, Guzman expanded his turf by sending in assassin squads with names such as ‘The Ghosts’ and ‘The Zeta Killers,’ in reference to the rival Zetas gang.
Guzman hid near his childhood home, agents said, but rumors abounded of him visiting expensive restaurants and paying for all the diners.
In 2007, Guzman married an 18-year-old beauty queen in an ostentatious ceremony in a village in Durango state.
The state’s archbishop subsequently caused a media storm when he said that ‘everyone, except the authorities,’ knew Guzman was living there. Guzman’s bride, Emma Coronel, gave birth to twins in Los Angeles in 2011.
She attended nearly every day of her husband’s trial in New York, at one point donning a red blazer that matched his own.
Beyond putting Guzman’s personal life and drug dealings on public display, the case has also highlighted Mexico’s longtime fight to bring down its chief adversary in the bloody war on drug trafficking.
In January 2016, after some three decades running drugs, Guzman was caught in his native northwestern state of Sinaloa.
Six months earlier, he had humiliated Mexico’s then-president, Enrique Pena Nieto, by escaping from prison through a mile-long (1.6-km-long) tunnel dug straight into his cell and equipped with a motorbike – his second time escaping a Mexican penitentiary.
Just days after his 2016 capture, Guzman’s larger-than-life reputation was sealed when U.S. movie star Sean Penn published a lengthy account of an interview he conducted with the drug lord, which the Mexican government said was ‘essential’ to his capture a few months later.
‘I supply more heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana than anybody else in the world. I have a fleet of submarines, airplanes, trucks and boats,’ Penn said Guzman told him at the drug lord’s mountain hideout.
Mexico’s government extradited Guzman in January 2017, a day before Donald Trump took office as U.S. president on vows to tighten border security to halt immigration and drug smuggling.
Guzman’s legendary reputation in the Mexican underworld began taking shape when he staged his first jailbreak in 2001 by bribing prison guards, before going on to dominate drug trafficking along much of the Rio Grande.
However, many in towns across Mexico remember Guzman better for his squads of hit men who committed thousands of murders, kidnappings and decapitations.
Violence began to surge in 2006 as the government launched a war on drug trafficking that splintered criminal groups and sent killings spiraling. Mexico has registered more than 250,000 homicides since then, including a record number of killings last year.
Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel went on smuggling hundreds of tonnes of heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and crystal meth across Mexico’s border with the United States.
In February 2013, the Chicago Crime Commission dubbed him the city’s first Public Enemy No.1 since Al Capone.
Security experts concede the 5-foot-6-inch (1.68 meter) gangster was exceptional at what he did, managing to outmaneuver, outfight or outbribe his rivals to stay at the top of the drug trade for over a decade.
Rising through the ranks of the drug world, Guzman carefully observed his mentors’ tactics and mistakes, forging alliances that kept him one step ahead of the law for years.
Mexican soldiers and U.S. agents came close to Guzman on several occasions, but his layers of bodyguards and spies always tipped him off before they stormed his safe houses.
In preparing for a raid in 2014, U.S. officers restricted information to a small group for fear of corruption among Mexican law enforcement, Drug Enforcement Administration agent Victor Vasquez testified in Guzman’s trial.
Between 2004 and 2013, Guzman’s gangs fought in all major Mexican cities on the U.S. border, turning Ciudad Juarez and Nuevo Laredo into some of the world’s most dangerous places.
In one such attack, 14 bodies were left mutilated under a note that read, ‘Don’t forget that I am your real daddy,’ signed by ‘El Chapo.’
Guzman’s Sinaloa cartel often clashed with the Zetas, a gang founded by former Mexican soldiers, arming its crew with rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns.
In 2008, hit men working for a rival murdered Guzman’s son Edgar, a 22-year-old student. Guzman reportedly left 50,000 flowers at his son’s grave.
In the 1990s, Guzman became infamous for hiding several tonnes of cocaine in cans of chili peppers. In the following decade, his crew took drugs in tractor-trailer trucks to major U.S. cities, including Phoenix, Los Angeles and Chicago, indictments say.
Forbes magazine put the kingpin’s wealth at $1 billion, though investigators say it is impossible to know exactly how much he was worth.