El Chapo found guilty on all counts in Brooklyn federal court today

The world famous drug kingpin, 61-year-old Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was found guilty on all 10 counts including money laundering, drug trafficking, and weapons charges by a jury of 12 today in Brooklyn federal court, following more than 30 hours of deliberation.

The leader of the Sinaloa Cartel spent years on the lam and broke out of prison multiple times, with his most-recent prison escape in 2015, when he dug a tunnel out of his cell. After his capture and arrest, El Chapo was extradited in 2017 from Mexico to the U.S. for his trial in Brooklyn.

According to the Washington Post, the guilty convictions today almost guarantee life in prison:

For Guzmán, a conviction in a U.S. courtroom that guarantees life in prison cuts to the heart of his underworld myth, which only grew while he was a notorious fugitive.

Federal prosecutors have described Guzmán’s rise in the 1980s as being fueled by his skill at funneling cocaine into the United States and then getting proceeds back to Colombian cartels. Guzman continued expanding his empire, prosecutors said, even after he was taken into custody in Guatemala in 1993 and placed in a maximum-security prison in Mexico.

His 2001 escape from that prison — infamously said to involve him slipping away in a laundry hamper — began what would be more than a decade evading capture. Those years were filled with financial successes, violence and efforts to corrupt Mexican government officials, prosecutors wrote in court filings. They also said Guzmán and his associates obtained drugs and supplies from other countries and sent cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines and marijuana into the United States.

Guzmán was arrested again in 2014, and he escaped into the tunnel the following year. In 2016, he was arrested once more, and spent a year in custody before his extradition.

The drug trade was a gold mine for Guzmán, enabling him to “exponentially increase his profits to staggering levels,” prosecutors wrote in one court filing. But a key part of that, prosecutors continued, was “thousands of acts of violence” — including murder, torture and kidnappings — committed by assassins who he aimed at possible witnesses or people who sought to help law enforcement.

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