El Chapo Sentenced to Life in Prison

Joaquín Guzmán Loera was convicted of drug, murder and money laundering

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera in custody
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera in custody. (Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via Getty Images)
By Evan Bleier / July 17, 2019 11:00 am

The criminal career of Joaquín Guzmán Loera, commonly known as El Chapo, is over for good.

On Wednesday in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, the Mexican drug kingpin was sentenced to life in prison.

El Chapo, who famously once escaped from prison in Mexico using a mile-long tunnel dug to the shower in his cell, was tried last winter during a three-month trial and convicted of drug, murder and money laundering charges. In addition to the life sentence, Judge Brian M. Cogan and the court ordered El Chapo to pay $12.6 billion in forfeiture.

“It’s justice not only for the Mexican government, but for all of Guzmán’s victims in Mexico,” said Raymond Donovan of the DEA’s New York office, according to The New York Times.

Prior to sentencing, El Chapo addressed the courtroom in Spanish and complained the way he had been incarcerated in New York.

“It’s been torture, the most inhumane situation I have lived in my entire life,” he said in Spanish. “It has been physical, emotional and mental torture.” He went on to thank his family, legal team and supporters.

Pending an appeal, El Chapo, 62, is likely to be sent to the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility, or ADX, Colorado.

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