El Chapo sentenced to life imprisonment plus 30 years

Drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted by marines to a helicopter at Mexico City's airport on January 8, 2016. OMAR TORRES / AFP - Getty Images

Famous drug lord Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera a.k.a El Chapo, was on Wednesday handed a life imprisonment sentence, ending his notorious and brutal criminal career. 

Before his arrest, his dramatic escapes from prison added to his fame of the untouchable kingpin running the world’s largest narcotics trafficking group.  He escaped a Mexican jail through a tunnel in 2015, but was later arrested and extradited to the US in 2017. El Chapo is a former head of the Sinaloa cartel, which officials say was the biggest supplier of drugs to the US.

The 62-year-old drug lord was found guilty of 10 charges, including drug trafficking and money laundering, by a federal court in New York in February.  Asides being handed a life imprisonment sentence on July 17, 2019, he was also given an additional 30 years for unlawful use of firearms. He was also ordered to pay $12.6bn (£10bn) in forfeiture.  He however denounced his treatment, calling the trial unfair.

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“When extradited, I expected to have a fair trial where justice was blind and my fame would not be a factor, but what happened was actually the opposite,” he said before the sentence was imposed. .
“The government of the United States will send me to a prison where my name will never be heard again. I will take this opportunity to say there was no justice here.”

In 2009, Guzmán entered Forbes’ list of the world’s richest men at number 701, with an estimated worth of $1bn. In over 25 years of running a drug cartel, Guzmán earned the organization more than $14 billion while exhibiting an extraordinary ability to evade law enforcement.


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