Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the notorious drug kingpin known as “El Chapo,” was sentenced to life in prison, plus 30 years. A federal judge handed down the sentence in a New York courtroom, Tuesday, July 16, 2019.
Guzmán was convicted by a 13-person jury for international distribution of cocaine and conspiracy to commit murder, for a total of 10 counts, on Feb. 12.
As head of Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, “El Chapo” was responsible for trafficking more than 200 tons of cocaine into the United States over the past quarter-century. He helped lead a criminal enterprise that committed brutal murders and used political bribes to keep narcotics flowing throughout the Western Hemisphere.
Richard Donoghue, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, anticipated a life sentence for Guzmán, as mandated by federal sentencing guidelines.
Donoghue spoke briefly to media after February’s conviction, stating, “His conviction is a victory for the American people who have suffered so long and so much while Guzmán made billions pouring poison over our southern border. This conviction is a victory for the Mexican people, who have lost more than 100,000 lives in drug-related violence.”
The Trump administration has cited the Guzmán case as just one of numerous examples in pressing for increased security at the southern border.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham posted on Twitter after the conviction, saying, “El Chapo’s reign of terror is over. He’ll spend the rest of his life in a maximum-security prison. The threat from violent drug cartels is—we must secure our border.”
El Chapo’s reign of terror is over. He‘ll spend the rest of his life in a maximum security prison. The threat from violent drug cartels is real—we must secure our border
— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) February 13, 2019
Guzman’s defense attorneys have indicated that they will appeal the verdict and sentence.