El Chapo Will Spend The Rest Of His Life Behind Bars But It’s What He Told The Judge That Everyone Is Talking About
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…