Mexican Drug Lord, El Chapo, Sentenced to Life in Prison

A US judge in Brooklyn has sentenced Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán to life in prison plus 30 years.

Guzmán, 62, was found guilty of 10 charges, including drug trafficking and money laundering, by a federal court in New York in February.

El Chapo had escaped twice from maximum-security prisons in Mexico. His first escape came in 2001, purportedly in a laundry cart and with the help of prison officials he had corrupted. In 2015 he escaped again by digging a mile-long tunnel from his cell but was later arrested and extradited to the US in 2017.

He is a former head of the Sinaloa cartel, which officials say was the biggest supplier of drugs to the US.

Speaking through an interpreter just before Wednesday’s sentencing, Guzmán said in the Brooklyn courtroom his confinement in the US had amounted to “psychological, emotional, mental torture 24 hours a day”.

He also said he had received an unfair trial, accusing jurors of misconduct.

The life sentence was the minimum Guzmán faced. The additional 30 years were for unlawful uses of firearms.

He was also ordered to pay $12.6 billion in forfeiture.

Prosecutors said Guzmán would be serving his sentence behind “tonnes of steel”, referring to a high-security prison in Colorado.

It was not immediately clear if Guzmán would appeal against the verdict.

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