The world’s most infamous cartel boss and Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera has been sentenced to life in prison plus an additional 30 years by a federal court in Brooklyn. The once head of a criminal enterprise that traversed continents and triggered waves of bloodshed throughout his native Mexico was convicted in February on murder conspiracy and drug charges.
El Chapo is alleged to have pocketed nearly $14 billion as the decadeslong head of the murderous Sinaloa cartel with documents unsealed before jury offering further accusations against El Chapo from Alex Cifuentes, a Colombian drug lord who has described himself as El Chapo’s “right-hand man”.
El Chapo who twice escaped from Mexico’s high-security prisons, and so in the US had been held in a 20-by-12-foot cell for 23 hours a day, on the tenth floor of the Metropolitan Correctional Center – known as the Special Housing Unit, or the SHU.
Guzman, whose nickname means “Shorty,” was extradited to the United States for trial in 2017 after he was arrested in Mexico the year before.
Though other high-ranking cartel figures had been extradited previously, Guzman was the first to go to trial instead of pleading guilty.
The U.S. government said Guzman trafficked tons of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine into the United States over more than two decades, consolidating his power in Mexico through murders and wars with rival cartels.
A US judge has sentenced Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to life in prison plus 30 years, according to the US Attorneys for the Eastern District of New York. The court also ordered “El Chapo” to pay $12.6 billion in forfeiture pic.twitter.com/sdmGrza95I
— ⚓ZAZA🌊 (@Sw0rdshoe) July 17, 2019
Small in stature, Guzman’s 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 say he was set up as a “fall guy” by Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, a powerful drug lord from Sinaloa who remains at large.