Cartel boss El Chapo guilty of smuggling drugs into US

Posted February 14, 2019

The notorious cartel boss, born Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, has been on trial in NY, which featured testimony from multiple witnesses.

Guzman was convicted on all 10 charges: engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise; worldwide cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana manufacture, and distribution conspiracy; two counts of cocaine importation conspiracy; four counts of global distribution of cocaine; use of firearms; and conspiracy to launder narcotics proceeds.

Prisoners at Supermax spend years in solitary confinement and often go days "with only a few words spoken to them", an Amnesty International report found.

Another testified how Guzman sometimes acted as his own hitman, punishing a Sinaloan who dared to work for another cartel by kidnapping him, beating and shooting him and having his men bury the victim while he was still alive.

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He said: "Those guys at Guantanamo had it much better than we did".

Deliberations were complicated by the trial's vast scope.

The trial cast a harsh glare on the corruption that allowed the cartel to flourish. A hiccup with one of the jurors - who was dismissed over anxiety about the trial - delayed the start of opening statements.

But his sing-songy voice filled the courtroom, thanks to recordings of intercepted phone calls.

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Guzman's lawyers sought to prove their client did not, in fact, run the Sinaloa Cartel, but took orders from someone else.

But Guzman, set to be sentenced in June for smuggling enormous amounts of narcotics into the U.S and having a hand in dozens of murders, would stand out even from Supermax's infamous roster because of his nearly mythical reputation for breaking out. "He left us behind".

"Everyone knows it's not going to happen, but it's such an excellent idea", she said.

Bribery is widely believed to have enabled that jailbreak, as well as a 2001 escape in which Guzman was smuggled out of another top-security Mexican prison in a laundry basket. He then got an escort from crooked police officers into Mexico City before retreating to one of his many mountainside hideaways.

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This was followed by a dramatic mile-long escape from Altiplano jail in Central Mexico in July 2015. "In front of you".