‘El Chapo’ sentenced to life imprisonment in the US

‘El Chapo’ sentenced to life imprisonment in the US

Mexican drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman has been sentenced to life imprisonment, plus 30 years, after a hearing in a federal court in New York on Wednesday (local time).

Guzman, 62, was also ordered to forfeit $US12.6 billion ($AU18 billion).

He was found guilty by a jury in February of trafficking tons of cocaine, heroin and marijuana and engaging in multiple murder conspiracies as a top leader of the Sinaloa Cartel — infamous for being one of Mexico’s largest and most violent drug trafficking organisations.

He is being held in solitary confinement in the Metropolitan Correctional Centre, a fortress-like jail in lower Manhattan, New York.

Experts said he would likely end up serving his sentence at a “supermax” prison in Florence, Colorado, where inmates are held in isolation for 23 hours a day.

The Mexican drug lord has escaped prison twice before.

The first instance was in Mexico in 2001, where he escaped hidden in a laundry cart after being imprisoned in 1993.

The second occurrence was in 2015, when he infamously disappeared into a ventilated, 1.6km tunnel dug into his cell in a maximum-security prison after being sentenced the year before.

He was captured again in 2016 and extradited to the US in January 2017 to face trial.

Guzman’s lawyers have said they intend to appeal his guilty verdict.

They have already asked Judge Cogan to overturn it, citing a report jurors disobeyed court rules by reading news reports about the case during the trial, but the judge rejected that request.

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