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12 Feb 2019

BREAKING NEWS: Court Finds Mexican Drug Lord, El Chapo, Guilty Of All Criminal Charges

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman faces a life sentence in prison after being found guilty of drug trafficking by a jury in New York.

The jury - five men and seven women, who have been under special court protection since the trial began in November - were asked to decide on 10 counts related to drug trafficking.

The 61-year-old Mexican cartel leader was found guilty of each charge after six days of deliberations by the jury.

There was no reaction from Guzman or his wife, former beauty queen Emma Coronel, as the jury read out their verdict.

Once the jury left the room, he and his wife put their hands to their hearts and gave each other the thumbs up sign.
Shortly before the verdict was read out, Guzman's lawyer said his "client's feet are firmly planted on the ground", adding that he was prepared for any outcome.

Over the course of the 38-day trial, they heard from 56 witnesses for the prosecution, and one for the defence.

The prosecution had what they described as "an avalanche" of evidence, including transcripts and audio of wiretapped conversations discussing drug deals, and Guzman's own accounting books.

They had drug enforcement agents (DEA) and FBI experts, all discussing the hunt to track down the world's most wanted cartel leader, and seize some of his $14 billion fortune.

And, perhaps most memorably, they brought forth 14 cooperating witnesses - some of the most high profile Mexican and Colombian traffickers currently in US prisons, all seeking to tell their story in return for a reduced sentence.

Among them was the head of Guzman's US operations, Pedro Flores, and the son and brother of his closest ally Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada, the current head of the Sinaloa Cartel.

They also included a Colombian trafficker known as Chupeta, or Lollipop, whose face had been so surgically altered while on the run from the authorities that the court collectively gaped as he entered the room.

One of his mistresses, a local politician for Sinaloa, Lucero Sanchez Lopez, told of mixing business with pleasure as she ran his deals.

And throughout it all his wife, Ms Coronel, a 29-year-old beauty queen, sat in the gallery, listening intently as her husband's crimes were laid bare.

He only spoke once, through a translator, to say that he did not wish to testify.

Guzman will be sentenced on June 25, but faces life in prison.

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