Mexican cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has been found guilty on all counts by a Brooklyn, New York jury on February 12. After spending more than five days deliberating, the panel decided to convict Guzman on charges of operating a continuing criminal enterprise, use of firearms, and several crimes involving conspiracy to import and distribute cocaine, heroin and marijuana. Just the first guilty verdict would be enough to put him in prison for the rest of his life.
The jury spent 11 weeks listening to testimony from more than 50 witnesses, 14 of whom used to work for Guzman. The stories heard were absolutely horrifying, and included shocking revelations about murders committed directly by and at the instruction of Guzman, plus the druggings and assaults of many young women.
This is far from El Chapo’s first stint behind bars. He was arrested in 1993 on charges of murdering Roman Catholic cardinal, Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo, at the Guadalajara airport. However, he managed to break out by having a janitor remove him from the jail in a laundry cart. Then, in 2014, he was found in a hotel in Mazatlán by the D.E.A. and the Mexican marines. Again, he broke out of jail by having associates dig him a mile-long tunnel that began in the shower of his cell. In 2016 he was once again arrested, and this time he was sent to New York where it would be harder for his people to help him. Finally, he stood trial.
Luckily, the prosecution was well-prepared to take him on after years of following him and gathering evidence from surveillance footage and wiretapping. The prosecution spent 10 weeks pleading their case, and the defense spent just thirty minutes on theirs, bringing forward only one witness to defend El Chapo. On February 12, justice was finally served. Guzman has yet to be formally sentenced, but it’s safe to say that he will never see the outside of a jail cell again.
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