Drug kingpin El Chapo sentenced to life in US prison

Thu 18 Jul 2019 06:33 GMT | 10:33 Local Time

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Once one of the world's most powerful and notorious criminals, Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was sentenced to life imprisonment Wednesday -- the mandatory punishment for a host of crimes spanning a quarter-century, AFP reported.

Guzman, the 62-year-old former co-leader of Mexico's mighty Sinaloa drug cartel, was convicted in February in US federal court on a spate of charges, including smuggling hundreds of tons of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana into the United States.

The much-anticipated hearing in New York capped a dramatic legal saga and saw Guzman -- wearing a gray suit, lilac shirt, purple tie and trademark mustache -- somberly take in his punishment.

"There was no justice here," Guzman declared in Spanish, expressing no regret as he delivered what were likely his final public words before he is taken to a supermax federal prison to live out his days.

When entering and before leaving the courtroom, he touched his heart and blew a kiss to his wife Emma Coronel, who was barred from all contact with him during more than two years of pre-trial detention.

The charges against Guzman, which include money laundering and weapons-related offenses, carried a mandatory life sentence.

US Federal Judge Brian Cogan tacked 30 years onto the sentence and ordered the drug lord to pay $12.6 billion in forfeiture -- a sum based on a conservative estimate of revenues from his cartel's sales in the United States.

So far, US authorities have not recovered a dime.

News.Az

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