Drug lord Joaquín Guzmán, known as “El Chapo” and also known for his prison escapes and his role as a drug kingpin, will spend the rest of his life behind bars, a federal court in New York ruled Monday.
Before his sentencing by U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan, who presided over the trial, Guzmán said he believed his trial was unfair, per The Washington Post.
“When extradited, I expected to have a fair trial where justice was blind and my fame would not be a factor, but what happened was actually the opposite,” he said. “The government of the United States will send me to a prison where my name will never be heard again. I will take this opportunity to say there was no justice here.”
In addition to his prison sentence, which includes life plus 30 years, the drug lord is expected to forfeit his $12.6 million fortune, CNN reported.
The trial lasted three months and included details of Guzmán’s rise to power.
According to The Washington Post, the prosecution presented a case that detailed gruesome murders and the trafficking of drugs including marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin across the border from Mexico into the United States.
— The Hill (@thehill) July 17, 2019
The prosecution presented its case with testimony from 14 witnesses and 1 million messages sent between alleged members of Guzmán’s cartel.
Guzmán’s attorneys argued that he was merely a scapegoat for those who testified against him. A jury took six days to decide to convict Guzmaán on all 10 charges.
For its protection the jury in the case has been kept anonymous, although one unnamed juror spoke with VICE News and said that at least five jurors violated a judge’s orders by watching or reading news coverage about the trial while it was ongoing.
Guzmán is planning to appeal the sentence, though he will likely not be present at those proceedings. Attorney Mariel Colon said that Wednesday’s court appearance might be the last time the public sees ‘El Chapo,’ per CNN. She also noted it might be the last time his wife sees him, as she is not permitted to visit or speak to him on the phone.
As CNN notes, Guzmán is only allowed to talk to a few select family members on the phone from prison, which include his two daughters but not his wife.
The 61-year-old was found guilty in February on all 10 counts he was accused of, including engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise and drug trafficking charges. The first charge has a mandatory life in prison sentence, per CNN.
Guzmán, who has previously escaped from two maximum security prisons in Mexico, is expected to serve at a Supermax prison in Colorado.