Mexican drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman sentenced to life after involvement in trafficking tonnes of drugs into the United States.
The Mexican drug lord was found guilty of running a drug ring. His enterprise smuggled tonnes of drugs into the USA. Guzman was convicted in February. His 11 week trial resulted in him being found guilty.
On Wednesday, US District Judge Brian Cogan sentenced him to life in prison. He was given a sentence of life plus 30 years at a hearing in Brooklyn. The additional years are for unlawful firearm usage. He was also ordered to pay $12.5 billion.
In 2009, the owner of the cartel in Northern Mexico held the 701st position on Forbes’ list of richest men. He had a net worth of $1 billion at the time.
Court papers described his life as a series of shocking events. This included having extremely young girls raped and drugged in front of him, as well as performing multiple brutal murders.
Guzman also used a software to spy on his wife and mistress, which allowed the FBI to present his texts in court. In one of the texts, Guzman asked his wife to bring him new clothes, shoes and black moustache dye.
Guzman’s former bodyguard Rios said that Guzman beat two members of a rival cartel “until they were like rag dolls”. He then set fire to their bodies. Guzman also killed his cousin for lying about his location, and had another cartel leader’s brother killed because he did not shake his hand.
The 62 year old escaped a Mexican jail in 2015 through a tunnel. His sons bought land near the prison and the drug lord escaped using a GPS to find the exact location and a small motorcycle.
Guzman was extradited in jail in US in 2017. Since then, he has remained cut off from the world. He said through his interpreter that his jail time was “psychological, emotional, mental torture, 24 hours a day”. He also said he suffered at the hands of “cruel and inhumane” treatment.
Guzman’s home community named him Shorty. He reigned over the Sinaloa village’s cartel for 25 years, and smuggled tonnes of cocaine into the US.
His group of followers and “sicarios” also kidnapped, tortured and murdered those who tried to turn him in. Other traffickers became witnesses and turned him in.
The prosecution said he had paid for private planes, villas and even a zoo, but his lawyers denied all of these allegations. His defense lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman said the case was “all part of a show trial.”
Guzman will serve in Colorado’s Supermax prison.
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