El Chapo: Drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman sentenced to life plus 30 years in US prison

Drug kingpin says he was denied a fair trial as judge hands down lifelong prison sentence

El Chapo tearful as he lands in US

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, a notorious drug lord often considered one of the most powerful traffickers in history, has been sentenced to life plus thirty years in prison by a US federal judge.

The sentencing marked a humbling end for a drug kingpin known for his ability to kill, bribe or tunnel his way out of trouble.

The 62-year-old drug lord, who had been protected in Mexico by an army of gangsters and an elaborate corruption operation, was brought to the US to stand trial after he twice escaped from Mexican prisons.

Before he was sentenced, Guzman complained about the conditions of his confinement and told the judge he was denied a fair trial. He said US District Judge Brian Cogan failed to thoroughly investigate claims of juror misconduct.

The harsh sentence was pre-ordained. The guilty verdict in February at Guzman’s 11-week trial triggered a mandatory sentence of life without parole.

The evidence showed that under Guzman’s orders, the Sinaloa cartel was responsible for smuggling mountains of cocaine and other drugs into the United States during his 25-year reign, prosecutors said in court papers re-capping the trial.

They also said his “army of sicarios” was under orders to kidnap, torture and murder anyone who got in his way.

The defence argued he was framed by other traffickers who became government witnesses so they could get breaks in their own cases.

Guzman has been largely cut off from the outside world since his extradition in 2017 and his remarks in the courtroom Wednesday could be the last time the public hears from him.

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Guzman thanked his family for giving him “the strength to bare this torture that I have been under for the past 30 months.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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