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Drug Lord El Chapo Sentenced to Life in Prison

A drug lord. An escape artist. A murderer. And now, he is finally a convict.

On the morning of Wednesday, July 17, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years. El Chapo was convicted of overseeing the vast criminal operation known as the Sinaloa Cartel. His operations smuggled billions of dollars worth of heroin, methamphetamine, and more illicit drugs into the United States.

Although the name “El Chapo” is derived from his short stature (5’6”), what Guzman lacks in height he makes up for with the size of his notorious drug cartel.

Once named by Forbes as one of the wealthiest men in the world, El Chapo’s fortune is estimated to be valued at 12.6 billion—which he will be ordered to forfeit.

El Chapo is considered to have been the most powerful drug trafficker in the world. His legacy leaves behind many stories of murders, tortures, and sexual abuse to minors. In 2013, Guzman’s Sinaloa cartel claimed one quarter of the drug trade in the United States alone. In fact, El Chapo was so powerful that he managed to escape a high-security prison in Mexico—twice.

The kingpin used his time in court to accuse the United States Judicial System of being corrupt, as he insisted that he had endured torturous mental, physical, and psychological conditions whilst being held in New York City jail.  

Guzman has been sentenced to live out the rest of his days in the United States’ supermax ADX Florence prison in Colorado. He will have little to no contact with his wife or daughters (or mistresses, for that matter) and will be living amongst some of the nation’s most notorious criminals.