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Mexico's 'El Chapo,' notorious cartel boss, convicted in United States trial

12 February 2019

A federal jury in NY has found Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera guilty of all 10 criminal counts against him, including the top charge of engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise.

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

Guzman listened to a drumbeat of guilty verdicts on drug and conspiracy charges that could put the 61-year-old escape artist behind bars for decades in a maximum-security US prison selected to thwart another one of the breakouts that made him a folk hero in his native country.

The cartel leader escaped prison twice in Mexico before being sent to the United States to stand trial.

Federal court marshals whisked Guzman out of the courtroom immediately after the judge read the guilty verdict. Once the jury left the room, he and his wife put their hands to their hearts and gave each other the thumbs up sign.

Guzman and his drug cartel reportedly made billions in profits by smuggling tons of cocaine, heroin, meth and marijuana into the U.S. It was an operation that dated back to the 1980s.

Witnesses detailed assassinations and political payoffs, and how drugs were smuggled using tanker trucks, rail cars and even shipments of canned peppers. On its fifth day of deliberations, the jury asked to review law enforcement testimony about seizures of Colombian cocaine being shipped to the Sinaloa cartel to fuel a smuggling empire prosecutors say was under Guzman's command.

In a statement after the verdict, lawyers for El Chapo said they were "obviously disappointed" but respectful of the jury's decision. Fourteen of those witnesses - mostly admitted drug traffickers and cartel associates - were cooperating with prosecutors in hopes of reducing their own prison sentences.

Federal prosecutors say a jury has reached a verdict in the USA trial of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

They were escorted to and from the fortress-like Brooklyn courthouse by US Marshals during each day of the 35 day trial, which saw 56 prosecution witnesses called to testify against El Chapo.

Mexico's 'El Chapo,' notorious cartel boss, convicted in United States trial