Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman sentenced to life in U.S. prison
Brian A. Benczkowshi (C), the Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Justice Department's Criminal Division, makes a statement outside a federal court in New York City's Brooklyn borough, the United States, July 17, 2019. U.S. judges have sentenced Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to life in prison, according to a court hearing here on Wednesday. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)
NEW YORK, July 17 (Xinhua) -- U.S. judges have sentenced Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to life in prison, according to a court hearing here on Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan announced the verdict at a federal court in New York City's Brooklyn borough. Cogan also added 50 years onto the sentence and ordered Guzman to pay 12.6 billion U.S. dollars in forfeiture to the U.S. government.
Guzman, 62, was convicted guilty in February on all 10 criminal counts, including engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, murder conspiracy, and international distribution of drugs.
As the former leader of the world's largest drug-trafficking organization Sinaloa Cartel, Guzman has smuggled over 12 billion U.S. dollar worth of heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana, and cocaine from Mexico into the United States over the years, according to federal prosecutors.
They have also described Guzman as "ruthless and bloodthirsty" whose criminal acts are too many to be fully recorded.
In March, Guzman's defense team requested a new trial, citing a Vice report in which a juror claimed that at least five fellow jurors violated the judge's orders as they consulted media coverage of the case during the trial.
Judge Cogan denied the bid earlier this month, saying that any rational jury would have found Guzman guilty based on the "mountain range of evidence" against him.
After the sentencing on Wednesday, one of Guzman's lawyers, Jeffrey Lichtman, said outside the courthouse that his client didn't get justice.
"It was a show trial, and it's been so since Day One," he said.
Guzman escaped from prison twice in Mexico before he was recaptured in 2016 and extradited to the United States in 2017. Since then he has been held in solitary confinement in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan, which is considered one of the most secure places in the United States.