New York jury convicts Mexican drug lord ‘El Chapo’
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 2/12/19, 01:20 pm
Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán was convicted Tuesday in U.S. District Court of running an industrial-scale smuggling operation. The conviction comes after a three-month trial packed with Hollywood-style tales of murder, corruption, and greed. The drug-trafficking and conspiracy convictions could put the 61-year-old Guzmán behind bars for decades in a maximum-security U.S. prison selected to thwart another one of the breakouts that embarrassed his native country. Guzman escaped twice from prison in Mexico. He was recaptured in 2016 and extradited to the United States.
New York jurors, whose identities were kept secret, reached a verdict after deliberating six days in the expansive case. They sorted through a mountain of evidence gathered since the late 1980s that Guzman and his murderous Sinaloa drug cartel made billions in profits by smuggling tons of cocaine, heroin, meth, and marijuana into the United States. The prosecution spent 10 weeks laying out the case against Guzmán, a roughly 5½-foot figure whose nickname translates to “Shorty.” The defense case lasted just half an hour. Guzmán’s lawyers did not deny his crimes as much as argue he was a fall guy for government witnesses who were more evil than he was.
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