‘El Chapo’ found guilty on all charges

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Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán was convicted on all counts in New York City on Tuesday after a lengthy trial that highlighted the narcotics trade’s brutality.
He was found guilty of charges including narcotics trafficking, using a firearm in furtherance of his drug crimes and participating in a money laundering conspiracy.
{mosads}Jurors at the federal district court in Brooklyn took more than a week to reach their verdict, as the panel went over reams of documents and testimony from 56 witnesses.
Guzmán, who became famous as a foil to Mexican authorities, escaping twice from maximum security prisons and avoiding several close calls with security services, is the highest-level drug lord ever extradited from Mexico to the United States.
He faces life without parole for an organized crime conviction, and up to seven life sentences for drug convictions. The government will also pursue forfeiture of assets worth billions of dollars, officials with the Department of Justice said on Tuesday.
The convictions were announced by top U.S. federal enforcement officials, including Acting Attorney General Matthew G. Whitaker, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
“As was clear to the jury, Guzman Loera’s massive, multi-billion dollar criminal enterprise was responsible for flooding the streets of the United States with hundreds of tons of cocaine, as well as enormous quantities of other dangerous drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine,” said Whitaker in a statement.
Guzmán’s trial exposed a vast communications, money laundering and logistical network stretching from the Andes to U.S. metropolitan areas. 
Guzmán’s defense attempted to play down their client’s role in building the logistical infrastructure behind the drug trade, portraying him as an underling of his associate, Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada.
Prosecutors made the case that he built a multimillion-dollar empire to smuggle cocaine from Colombia, through Mexico, into the United States. They successfully argued that Guzman’s criminal enterprises generated billions of dollars in illicit profit over the last 25 years.
“Guzman had the capital to absorb huge losses and run his enterprise with impunity; the enormous power to corrupt; and the capability to employ violence on a massive scale,” said Whitaker.
The prosecution’s witnesses painted a portrait of the drug lord’s brutality, personal excess, and ability to corrupt authorities.
Over the 12-week trial, witness testimony often made headlines, although its veracity was often questioned.
One witness, Colombian trafficker Alex Cifuentes, told the court that Guzmán had arranged for a $100 million bribe to former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.
Peña Nieto denied the accusation.
Cifuentes also accused Guzmán of drugging and raping girls as young as 13 at his mountain hideaway, a claim Guzman’s attorneys denied.
Aside from witness testimony, prosecutors provided as evidence drug seizures of more than 130,000 kilograms of cocaine and heroin, multiple weapons seizures including heavy armament, recordings, ledgers, private communications and photo and video evidence.
The Department of Justice credited in a statement credited the cooperation of international law enforcement from Mexico, Ecuador, the Netherlands, the Dominican Republic, and Colombia, as well as various local and nearly every federal law enforcement agency stateside.
“The success of this case is a testament to the strength of our relationship with our Mexican counterparts. DEA will continue to pursue justice worldwide and protect Americans,” said Dhillon.
–This report was updated at 2:08 p.m.
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