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El Chapo Gets a Life Sentence for Running the Deadly, Highly Profitable Sinaloa Cartel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

‘El Chapo’ Guzman

Convicted Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Loera, best known internationally as “El Chapo,” was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in New York to life, plus 30 years to run consecutive to the life sentence.

“The long road that brought ‘El Chapo’ Guzman Loera to a United States courtroom is lined with drugs, death, and destruction, but ends today with justice,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski in a statement.  “Thanks to the unflagging efforts of the Department of Justice and the law enforcement community over the past 25 years, this notorious leader of one of the largest drug trafficking organizations in the Western hemisphere, the Sinaloa Cartel, will spend the rest of his life behind bars.”

El Chapo was convicted in February of heading up the Sinaloa Cartel and trafficking drugs and a murder conspiracy. He has been the subject of a popular made-for-TV series on Netflix.

Evidence during trial showed that he was the principal leader of the cartel responsible for importing and distributing more than a million kilograms of cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin in the United States.

The evidence, according to the Justice Department, included testimony from 14 cooperating witnesses, including Sinaloa Cartel members Rey and Vicente Zambada, Miguel Martinez, Tirso Martinez, Damaso Lopez and Alex Cifuentes; narcotics seizures totaling over 130,000 kilograms of cocaine and heroin; weapons, including AK-47s and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher; ledgers; text messages; videos; photographs and intercepted recordings that detailed the drug trafficking activity of Guzman Loera and his co-conspirators over a 25-year period from January 1989 until December 2014.

A number of co-conspirators testified during trial that El Chapo directed his hitmen to kidnap, interrogate, torture and slaughter members of rival drug organizations. At times, he carried out acts of violence himself.

He also  relied on a vast network of corrupt government officials and employees to protect and promote the interests of the Sinaloa Cartel.

 


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