Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel is, by far, the number one drug lord in the world, according to a new report by the DEA.
El Chapo has almost full control of the drug market in the United States, which includes $3 billion worth of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. He funnels it in through Chicago and Los Angeles and gangs — like MS-13, Latin Kings, Bloods, the Sureños and Crips — help distribute it to the entire country and even Canada.
According to the Mexican newspaper El Universal, this may be due to a rumored agreement made in 2000 between the Sinaloa Cartel and US Officials where, in exchange for information on other drug organizations, El Chapo would do as he pleased.
Whether or not this is true, what’s a fact is that the cartel is becoming even more powerful. El Chapo is now growing his own opium to produce heroin and compete with the South American market. He has, according to farmers and officials in Mexico, 23,000 miles of opium and marijuana fields, that’s larger than Costa Rica. And just to put things in perspective as to his profits: it costs him $5,000 to produce a kilogram of heroin and can sell it for $80,000, street value.
Obviously, that’s not without consequence. Between 2007 and 2014, heroin deaths increased by 244% and there are between 435,000 to 1.5 million heroin users in the U.S. So whether he’s behind bars or roaming free, El Chapo is keeping his King Pin title.
It’s been a tumultuous week for drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. On Wednesday, Guzman was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years and was ordered to pay $12.6 billion in forfeiture. But on that same day, Alejandrina Gisselle Guzman Salazar, one of Guzman’s ten children, was in the midst of officially launching her new clothing line named after her father, El Chapo 701.
El Chapo’s daughter is starting a clothing line in Mexico that is based heavily off the legacy and lore surrounding him.
The brand-new fashion line made it’s debut at the Intermoda fashion show in Guadalajara this week and is making headlines for its inspiration. Alejandrina Guzman named the brand “El Chapo 701” as a reference to Forbes naming her father the 701st richest person in the world back in 2009.
The clothing line sells items such as T-shirts, belts, purses, and jackets all adorned with imagery of Guzman and the 701 logo. According to the Mexico Daily News, many of the products that were on display in Guadalajara were made by prison inmates at the Puente Grande prison in Jalisco where Guzman managed to escape from in 2001 out of a laundry cart. The proceeds from sales will reportedly go to helping people in need and assist in the reintegration of inmates back into society.
“In the entire world, he is known as the CEO of Sinaloa or the Lord of the Mountains. He is the unique and legendary 701,” the brands website says.
Products prices range from $35 for shirts to $100 for belts and jackets.
Whether it’s ties, leather wallets, and boots, El Chapo 701 has managed to produce a wide variety of items for the El Chapo enthusiast in your family. Many of the items reportedly sold out very quickly at the Intermoda fashion show amidst growing buzz for the recently incarcerated Guzman.
But there is already a competing El Chapo brand that is being released. That company has the consent and approval of Guzman and is being headed by his wife.
Back in March, Guzman had reportedly signed a contract from prison granting rights for his name and likenesses to a company headed by his wife, Emma Coronel. The company is called El Chapo Guzman and just saw it’s first clothing drop last week. The ex-drug lord will not have any role or say in Coronel’s company.
“I’m very excited to start this project, which was based on ideas and concepts that my husband and I had years ago,” Coronel told CNN, adding that the line will be dedicated to their twin daughters.
Reaction to the El Chapo clothing brand has been quite interesting online as some are praising his daughter for her entrepreneurship skills.
Some people online are looking at the brand launch in a more positive way. One user said “You gotta understand Our people are hustlers. The hustle never stops! YEEE!!! Plus it’s simply supply and demand WHY U MAD HE CAUGHT ALREADY”
Guzman has been viewed differently by various people since his rise to Robin Hood-like reputation in Mexico. He would often give back to the many poor communities in Sinaloa, Mexico making him a beloved figure to many there. But that legacy is mixed to others as Guzman became a drug lord and kingpin for drug cartels in the ’80s and ’90s.
While the 62-year-old Guzman gets ready to spend the rest of his life behind bars, there is a growing market for brand and name. With nearly 9K followers on Instagram, Alejandrina Guzman has a well-established social media presence for her fashion brand and will no doubt be fueling this popularity behind El Chapo.
“There are people who give us a lot of support, who like it, who buy things and come from other places to distribute our products,” Adriana Ituarte, a sales representative for the brand told Mexico News Daily. “But there are some people who criticize us, who say we are promoting a drug trafficker.”
A federal judge in Brooklyn, N.Y., has sentenced drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán to a term of life in prison without the possibility of parole plus 30 years for his role in leading Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel. A life sentence was mandatory; U.S. prosecutors had asked that three decades be added onto Guzmán’s punishment.
The sentence also includes a multibillion-dollar financial penalty for the wealthy drug dealer.
The former drug lord was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years.
A federal jury convicted Guzmán in February, finding him guilty of a raft of serious charges, from drug crimes to a murder conspiracy. His conviction included 10 counts of crimes such as narcotics trafficking, using a firearm in drug crimes and money laundering.
The 62-year-old former drug lord was extradited from his native Mexico to the US in January 2017. The terms of his extradition included a pledge that US authorities would not seek the death penalty.
The drug kingpin has repeatedly made headlines during his criminal career — first for the vast power he ruthlessly amassed and later for his seeming ability to break out of any prison in Mexico. In 2015, he escaped from a maximum security prison for the second time, after spending more than a decade eluding Mexican authorities. He lived outside the law for an additional six months, before he was captured in a high-profile operation in early 2016.
He’s also been ordered to pay more than $12 billion for his negative impacts on the country.
Drug kingpin El Chapo was ordered to forfeit more than $12.6 billion in ill-gotten drug money today. Many are already coming out with ideas on hote government should best spend that money.
While others are pointing out the irony in the government taking drug money as if it was simply taking its cut.
El Chapo’s attorney reiterated his call for a new trial over alleged misconduct by jurors.
This case was simply an inquisition. It was a show trial, and how it ended is exactly perfect for that description,” defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman said. He said the government’s witnesses had included “lunatics and sociopaths and psychopaths” and that “up to five jurors broke the law — violated the law while they were judging Mr. Guzmán for crimes.”
After Guzmán was convicted, his defense team said the trial was tainted, claiming that members of the jury had ignored the judge’s orders not to read about the trial outside of court proceedings.
Guzmán plans to appeal, Lichtman said.
People were anxiously waiting to see if Guzmán would speak at his sentencing.
El Chapo spoke publicly for the first time since his conviction on Wednesday, complaining to a judge that his incarceration at a Manhattan lockup has been absolute “torture” before being sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years.
“I’ve been forced to drink unsanitary water. I’ve been denied access to fresh air and sunlight. The only sunlight I have in my cell comes through in the air vent,” the 62-year-old convicted drug kingpin told Brooklyn federal Judge Brian Cogan ahead of his sentencing.
Guzmán concluded his lengthy remarks by saying, “The United States is no better than any other corrupt country that you don’t respect.”
So where will El Chapo likely be spending the rest of his life?
Since he was sentenced to life, El Chapo will likely be serving that sentence in just one facility – the supermax prison just outside of Florence, Colorado. That is, of course, as long as he doesn’t successfully escape…again.
Many were just counting down the weeks or months until his third escape.
Some on Twitter pointed out that he’s already evaded authorities bascially four times now and made two high-profile escapes, including from a supposed supermax prison facility in Mexico.
Many are questioning how long it will take him and his Sinoaloa cartel to break him out of his cell in Colorado…