El Chapo convicted of 10 felonies

Joaquín Guzmán now faces life imprisonment, sentencing set for June 25

Photo courtesy of WikiCommons | Joaquín Guzmán, better known as El Chapo, is facing a mandatory life sentence after being found guilty of 10 federal counts of various crimes. The U.S. is looking to seize $14 billion he earned through narcotic sales.

Joaquín Guzmán, infamously known as “El Chapo,” is now facing a mandatory life sentence after being found guilty on Feb. 12 of 10 federal counts, including narcotic trafficking, engaging in a criminal enterprise, using firearms and money laundering.

The trial in New York City brought startling revelations of the life of El Chapo. Witnesses’ testimonies accused El Chapo of many things, from having a high tech murder room to ridiculous bribes and conspiracies.

The New York Times reported Alex Cifuentes, who was known as El Chapo’s right-hand man, said in court that El Chapo even raped and drugged minors. Cifuentes was a key witness in the trial and dropped shocking allegations against El Chapo. The testimony proved important in his conviction.

El Chapo has captured the public eye with his enormous amount of wealth and being the former leader of the notorious Sinaloa Cartel.

Known as simply “The Cartel,” this criminal organization is an international organized crime syndicate that was founded in the late 1980s. The criminal organization started in Sinaloa, Mexico, and has grown into an international enterprise. The organization engages in activities such as drug trafficking and money laundering.

The United States Intelligence Community considers The Cartel “the most powerful drug trafficking organization in the world.”

The Cartel has had a major impact on the drug problem in America including the recent fentanyl problem in Cincinnati. In March of last year, 12 people in Cincinnati were charged in connection with The Cartel.

The FBI found that those 12 individuals allegedly distributed fentanyl and heroin from Mexico, where The Cartel is based, to Middletown, Ohio. The laundered earnings in Ohio were then sent back to Mexico. This was confirmed in court by witnesses Junior and Peter Flores, also known as the “Chicago Twins.” The two testified against El Chapo in November of last year, saying the organization had satellite operations in multiple American cities. 

In 2009, Forbes listed El Chapo with an estimated net worth of $1 billion. However, the U.S. is looking to seize approximately $14 billion in cash from narcotic sales.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has already announced a plan for the cash seized, saying it cash can be used to fund the border wall. Cruz called the legislation the “Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order Act,” which has been nicknamed the “El Chapo Act.”

The legislation seeks to seize all “illegally obtained profits resulting from any criminal drug trafficking enterprise led by Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera.” The profits would, in turn, be used for border security or a wall.

Because of El Chapo’s multiple prison escapes in 2001 and 2015, he is now likely headed to America’s most tightly guarded prison, the United States Penitentiary, Administrative Maximum Facility.

Located in Colorado, the prison has earned the nickname of “The Alcatraz of the Rockies.” This federal maximum security prison has housed infamous inmates such as one of the participants of the Boston Marathon Bombing, the Unabomber and the conspirators in the Sept.11 attacks.

 El Chapo has a tentative sentencing date set for June 25.

By: Jabari Turner | Staff Writer