Federal Prosecutors Seek Life Sentence For Drug Lord ‘El Chapo’

The sentencing letter to the judge said the drug lord was a monstrous killer and should never leave prison.

El Chapo arriving in New York under heavy escort by ICE.
Ted Psahos / ICE via Getty Images

The sentencing letter to the judge said the drug lord was a monstrous killer and should never leave prison.

U.S. federal prosecutors asked a judge Wednesday to sentence cocaine kingpin Joaquin Guzmán, the brutal Mexican drug cartel leader known as “El Chapo,” to the statutory mandatory minimum of life in prison, plus another 30 years.

In the sentencing letter to Judge Brian Cogan, prosecutors said that the 62-year-old drug lord is a monstrous killer and that he should never leave prison. They said they would ask for a life sentence for him even if the mandatory minimum in the case wasn’t life behind bars, according to CNN.

Guzmán was found guilty of 10 counts of drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, and money laundering.

Prosecutors had agreed not to seek the death sentence in exchange for Guzmán’s extradition from Mexico.

“The overwhelming evidence at trial showed that the defendant was a ruthless and bloodthirsty leader of the Sinaloa Cartel,” the government wrote in a five-page letter to the judge.

“Testimony showed that the Sinaloa Cartel was one of the most powerful drug trafficking organizations in Mexico, and that it was able to seize control of vast swaths of territory throughout Mexico. It did so by wielding extraordinary violence, including kidnapping, torture and murder.”

Guzmán was responsible for allowing at least 1.2 million kilos of cocaine to flow across the border into the U.S.

On Friday, prosecutors proposed that Guzmán should pay $12.7 billion for his crimes as well, suggesting that he made the unfathomable sum through his drug trafficking trades.

“As for restitution, it’s a fiction much like the $12.7 billion forfeiture request: the government has not located a penny of his assets,” one of Guzmán’s lawyers, Jeffrey Lichtman told CNN.

The judge denied Guzmán’s request for a new trial, saying any “rational jury” would have found the drug lord guilty based on the “mountain range of evidence” painstakingly presented by prosecutors over three months in Brooklyn Federal Court.

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Almost five dozen witnesses were paraded in front of the jurors to testify to Guzmán’s industrial-scale drug smuggling operation. It is alleged that the kingpin was responsible for many brutal murders and political payoffs during his reign.

The jury heard from a former associate who told of a two-hour brutal attack on Guzmán’s enemies with a stick. They then shot each one in the head, and ordered his men to throw their bodies onto a bonfire.

They were also told that Guzmán once punished a man for defecting to another cartel by burning him with an iron, leaving him in a henhouse for days, shooting him, and burying him alive.

Prosecutors also asked the judge to order restitution for the victims in an amount to be later determined.

Guzmán is due to be sentenced on July 17.