Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the leader of the Mexican organized crime syndicate known as the Sinaloa Cartel, receive a sentence of life imprisonment plus 30 years. The Court also ordered him to pay $12.6 billion in forfeiture.
In February, a federal jury convicted El Chapo of all counts of the superseding indictment against him including narcotics trafficking, using a firearm in furtherance of his drug crimes and participating in a money laundering conspiracy.
During a three-month trial, prosecutors presented evidences proving that El Chapo was the principal leader of the Sinaloa Cartel. The evidences included seized narcotics (over 130,000 kilograms of cocaine and heroin), weapons such as AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenade launcher, ledgers, text messages, videos, photographs and intercepted recordings detailing the drug trafficking activities of El Chapo and his co-conspirators. In addition, 14 cooperating witnesses including Sinaloa Cartel members testified during the trial.
Through the evidences, prosecutors highlighted how El Chapo and his cartel transported illegal drugs into the U.S. and laundered billions of dollars of drug proceeds. They also demonstrated that he maintained the cartel’s power in the region and beyond by using violence He also bribed corrupt government officials and employees to protect the interest of the cartel.
The Sinaloa Cartel was responsible for trafficking and distributing more than a million kilograms of cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin in the United States.
Bringing a notorious drug trafficker to justice
On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the Court’s sentence against El Chapo.
In a statement, Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski, commented, “The long road that brought El Chapo… to a United States courtroom is lined with drugs, death, and destruction, but ends today with justice.” He added, “This notorious leader of one of the largest drug trafficking organizations in the Western hemisphere… will spend the rest of his life behind bars.”
On the other hand, U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue for the Eastern District of New York (EDNY), said El Chapo’s “day of reckoning has finally come” and will spend every minute of his life in prison.
Meanwhile, FBI Director Christopher Wray, said, “Today’s sentencing is the culmination of years of effort from numerous local, state, federal, and international partners. It highlights the dedication and determination of men and women in law enforcement to bring one of the world’s most notorious drug traffickers to justice.”