El Chapo trial: Mexican drug lord GUILTY and will NEVER be released

Joaquín Guzmán, the feared Mexican drug lord known worldwide as "El Chapo", has been found guilty of 10 charges in his NY trial.

The jury found Chapo guilty of engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, conspiracy to launder narcotics proceeds, worldwide distribution of cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and other drugs and use of firearms.

One of the major figures in Mexican drug wars that have roiled the country since 2006, Guzman was extradited to the United States for trial in 2017 after he was arrested in Mexico the year before. The verdict comes following a wildly dramatic, three-month long trial in New York City that involved extreme measures to prevent El Chapo from escaping, such as his accommodations at a Manhattan prison supposedly being even more secure than a SuperMax.

Over the course of two and a half months, a jury of eight women and four men in Brooklyn federal court heard testimony about unspeakable torture and ghastly murders, epic corruption at almost every level of Mexico's government, narco-mistresses and naked subterranean escapes, gold-plated AK-47s and monogrammed, diamond-encrusted pistols.

While the trial was dominated by Guzman's persona as a near-mythical outlaw who carried a diamond-encrusted handgun and stayed one step ahead of the law, the jury never heard from Guzman himself, except when he told the judge he wouldn't testify.

"Senor judge, me and my attorneys have spoken about this", Guzman stated. Guzman smiled and waved, and she touched her hand to her chest. His lawyers say Guzman is not a criminal mastermind but just a fall guy for the leader of the Sinaloa cartel, Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada.

The jury of eight women and four men deliberated roughly 34 hours over 6 days.

Reporters said that El Chapo and his wife, Emma Colonel, didn't show any emotions while the jury read the verdict but afterward, Chapo looked at her and waved. "We were faced with extraordinary and unprecedented obstacles in defending Joaquin, including his detention in solitary confinement", the statement said, Reuters reported.

Recaptured drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted by soldiers at the hangar belonging to the office of the Attorney General in Mexico City, Mexico, on January 8, 2016.

Despite Guzman's downfall, the Sinaloa Cartel still has the biggest US distribution presence of Mexican cartels, followed by the fast-growing Jalisco New Generation Cartel, according to the US Drug Enforcement Administration.

  • Jon Douglas