Mexican drug lord Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán has been given life in jail plus 30 years after being found guilty of narcotics trafficking.
The 62-year-old was earlier this year convicted of 10 counts including international distribution of heroin and cocaine; use of firearms and money laundering.
He was found guilty of trafficking tonnes of cocaine, heroin and marijuana into the US and engaging in multiple murder conspiracies as a top leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, long known as one of Mexico’s largest and most violent drug trafficking organisations.
Guzman, whose nickname means “Shorty,” developed a reputation as a Robin Hood-like figure that made him a folk hero to many in his home state of Sinaloa, where he was born in a poor mountain village.
Before he was finally captured in 2016, Guzman twice escaped maximum-security prisons in Mexico. He was extradited to the United States to face trial in January 2017.
He has been held in solitary confinement in the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a fortress-like jail in lower Manhattan.
US District Judge Brian Cogan last month rejected Guzman’s request for more time to exercise on the jail’s roof after prosecutors said that would risk an escape.
Guzman, who recently grew a moustache, complained about the terms of his confinement before his sentence was handed down.
“It has been psychological, emotional, mental torture 24 hours a day,” said Guzman. He alleged that the jurors on his case allowed media accounts of the trial to influence their thinking – an argument his lawyers have also made.
“Since the government of the United States is going to send me to a prison where my name will not ever be heard again, I take advantage of this opportunity to say there was no justice here,” he told the court.