Notorious drug cartel kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has been found guilty on all counts in his NYC jury trial on Tuesday and faces the better part of eternity behind bars.
The Mexican crime lord known as El Chapo was convicted on Tuesday after a three-month drug trial in New York that exposed the inner workings of his sprawling cartel, which over decades shipped tons of drugs into the United States and plagued Mexico with relentless bloodshed and corruption.
The guilty verdict against the kingpin, whose real name is Joaquín Guzmán Loera, ended the career of a legendary outlaw who also served as a dark folk hero in Mexico, notorious for his innovative smuggling tactics, his violence against competitors, his storied prison breaks and his nearly unstoppable ability to evade the Mexican authorities.
As Judge Brian M. Cogan read the jury’s charge sheet in open court — 10 straight guilty verdicts on all 10 counts of the indictment — Mr. Guzmán sat listening to a translator, looking stunned. When the reading of the verdict was complete, Mr. Guzmán leaned back to glance at his wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, who flashed him a thumbs up with tears in her eyes.
The jury’s decision came more than a week after the panel started deliberations at the trial in Federal District Court in Brooklyn where prosecutors presented a mountain of evidence against the cartel leader, including testimony from 56 witnesses, 14 of whom once worked with Mr. Guzmán. Mr. Guzman now faces life in prison at his sentencing hearing, scheduled for June 25.
“Today is a historic day for American justice,” said Ángel Meléndez, special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations. “Today we say American justice has been served, ending his days of evading authorities, ending his violent acts all in support of his efforts to conduct drug trafficking in the United States.”
The Sinaloa cartel is still going thanks to Guzman's sons, or course. It won't matter in the least to the War on Drugs. But El Chapo is never going to be a free man again, and I guess that's something.