Mexico's most notorious drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, was convicted Tuesday of running an industrial-scale smuggling operation after a three-month trial packed with Hollywood-style tales of grisly killings, political payoffs, cocaine hidden in jalapeno cans, jewel-encrusted guns and a naked escape with his mistress through a tunnel.
The identities of jurors were kept for their safety and to try and stop the Mexican drug lord, real name Joaquin Guzman, from getting his cronies to sway the verdict with bribes or threats. 'There is a guy in Mexico who leads the Sinaloa Cartel who has been indicted in America for decades.
Guzmán, who is 61-years-old, has yet to be sentenced but it has been reported that the verdict could mean life in jail.
The leader of the violent Sinaloa drug cartel faces a mandatory life sentence. But it has been widely anticipated that, if convicted, he would be sent to ADX Florence, ever since his extradition to the United States in January 2017. Among them were Guzman's former Sinaloa lieutenants, a computer encryption expert and a Colombian cocaine supplier who underwent extreme plastic surgery to disguise his appearance.
Despite the bloody details that emerged from the 11-week trial, with testimony from more than 50 witnesses, many locals continued to laud him as a modern-day Robin Hood, overlooking the murder and mayhem he left behind.
U.S. Attorney for Eastern District of New York, Richard Donoghue, told Reuters on February 12, the day the guilty verdict was announced, that Guzman was responsible for a litany of crimes.
He noted, however, that El Chapo doesn't have $14 billion "sitting in his checking account", and it may be hard to track down his assets.
His trial began in early November with a weeklong jury selection that proved to be problematic. Heavily armed federal officers and bomb-sniffing dogs have patrolled outside the federal courthouse in Brooklyn. He took off running.
Bribery is widely believed to have enabled that jailbreak, as well as a 2001 escape in which Guzman was smuggled out of another top-security Mexican prison in a laundry basket.
Within months of his arrest, Mexican authorities extradited Guzman to NY to face charges.