Published: Wed, February 13, 2019
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

"El Chapo" Found Guilty On 10 Counts In New York Trial


World's most infamous cartel boss Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman found guilty.

Murderous Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman appeared scared and teary after arriving in NY under ultra-heavy federal guard in January 2017 to face charges, according to video released by the feds Tuesday.

Jurors in federal court in Brooklyn found Guzman, 61, guilty on all 10 counts.

Guzman faced a drumbeat of drug-trafficking and conspiracy convictions that could put the 61-year-old escape artist behind bars for decades in a maximum-security USA prison selected to thwart another one of the breakouts that embarrassed his native country.

Guzman sat and showed no emotion while the verdict was read. When the jury was discharged, he leaned back in his chair to catch the eye of his wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, who gave him a subtle thumbs-up. He staged two dramatic escapes from Mexican high-security prisons and cultivated a "Robin Hood" image among the poor in his home state of Sinaloa.

The 11-week trial featured testimonies from more than 50 witnesses and offered one of the most detailed insights into the Sinaloa Cartel - named after the state in Mexico where El Chapo was born - ever.

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During the trial, more than 50 witnesses testified to the Sinaloa cartel leader's willingness to use violence against enemies of a cartel that prosecutors say smuggled at least 200 tons of cocaine into the USA for more than two decades.

His smuggling exploits, the violence he used and the sheer size of his illicit business made Guzman the world's most notorious drug baron since Colombia's Pablo Escobar, who was shot dead by police in 1993.

Guzman's lawyers did not deny the defendant's charges but argued that he was the victim of government witnesses who were worse than he was.

They were are asked to make 53 decisions about whether prosecutors have proven various elements of the 10-count indictment against Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

Through them, jurors heard how the Sinaloa Cartel gained power amid the shifting allegiances of the Mexican drug trade in the 1990s, eventually coming to control nearly the entire Pacific coast of Mexico. He was arrested again in January 2016 and extradited to the USA a year later. Colombian trafficker Alex Cifuentes caused a stir by testifying that former Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto took a $100-million bribe from Guzman.

While the trial was dominated by Guzman's near-mythical persona as an 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. Perhaps most famously, he escaped a Mexican prison in 2015 through an elaborate tunnel that included an adapted motorcycle on rails.

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