US jury convicts Mexican drug lord El Chapo

In this courtroom drawing Joaquin

“El Chapo” Found Guilty On 10 Counts In New York Trial

Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was found guilty on all 10 counts Tuesday after a high-profile trial that lasted almost three months.

A Brooklyn jury found Guzman, who formerly headed the notorious Sinaloa cartel, was convicted of operating a continuing criminal enterprise, use of firearms, and various charges of conspiracy to import and distribute cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, reported The Associated Press.

As the judge read the verdict, Guzman stared at the jury straight-faced.

Guzman's wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, leaves Brooklyn federal court on January 17 after attending the trial.

On Tuesday, Lichtman called the conviction "devastating", but he said he was proud that the defence "left it all on the battlefield".

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During the trial, more than 50 witnesses testified to the Sinaloa cartel leader's willingness to use violence against enemies of a cartel that prosecutors say smuggled at least 200 tons of cocaine into the US for more than two decades. Guzman smiled and waved, and she touched her hand to her chest.

Yet, jurors reportedly had an "avalanche" of evidence to work with before reaching their verdict.

In his closing arguments late last month, Guzman's lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman asked the jury not to convict on the basis of the "garbage" testimony of government witnesses. Now, the jury has handed in their verdict, finding the Sinaloa Cartel's leader guilty on all ten counts. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was elected past year after promising a change, suggesting a negotiated peace and amnesty for non-violent drug dealers, traffickers, and farmers.

Outside the court, U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue called it a "day of reckoning", promising the government would continue to root out cartel-related drug-running and corruption.

The criminal trial against the Mexican druglord included 200 hours of testimony that detailed drug trafficking, weapons encrusted in diamonds and gold, as well as an alleged $100M payment to the former president of Mexico. However, he was caught in 2016 before he was extradited to the United States in 2017.

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