While there were a few twists and turns, it appears that the saga of the El Chapo trial is over for now. After about 34 hours of deliberation, a jury found El Chapo guilty of all 10 federal criminal counts against him. The federal criminal charges included the use of firearms, international distribution of drugs, money laundering, and engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise. While all of these are serious charges, he’s facing a mandatory life sentence for his criminal enterprise conviction.
A Little Background on El Chapo
El Chapo, whose real name is Joaquin Guzman, was the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico. As a key player in the international drug trafficking organization, El Chapo amassed a huge fortune and was once listed on the Forbes’ Billionaires List. El Chapo wasn’t exactly quiet about his involvement in drug trafficking. In fact, in an interview for Rolling Stone magazine he declared: “I supply more heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana than anybody else in the world.”
El Chapo had already been tried and found guilty of crimes in Mexico. But, he escaped from prison in Mexico twice — once in 2001 and then again in 2015. After he was recaptured in 2016, the Mexican government agreed to the extradition request by the U.S. While it’s good news that this infamous drug lord has been brought to justice, it remains to be seen if this will help with ending the devastation caused by the Sinaloa Cartel, both in Mexico and in the U.S.
- El Chapo Found Guilty on All Counts; Faces Life in Prison (The New York Times)
- Drug Charges (FindLaw’s Learn About the Law)
- Jurors Will Be Anonymous in El Chapo Trial (FindLaw’s Strategist)
- Top 5 Questions About Federal Criminal Investigations (FindLaw’s Blotter)
- Record-Setting Fentanyl Bust Could Have Killed Millions (FindLaw’s Blotter)