Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman sentenced to life in US prison

Border Crime

In this Feb. 22, 2014 file photo, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the head of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, is escorted to a helicopter in Mexico City following his capture in the beach resort town of Mazatlan. Guzman was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo, File)

NEW YORK (AP) ⁠— The notorious Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has been sentenced to life behind bars in a U.S. prison.

Guzman waved to his family and placed his hand over his heart after being sentenced. He thanked his family for their support throughout his months-long trial.

Speaking through an interpreter, he said their prayers gave him the strength to “bare this torture that I have been under for the past 30 months.”

Guzman also complained about the conditions of his confinement and said he was denied a fair trial.

U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan defended his decision not to grant Guzman a new trial amid claims of juror misconduct in the case.

Guzman was found guilty in February of leading a murderous drug conspiracy. He was ordered to pay $12.6 billion in ill-gotten drug proceeds.

The 62-year-old drug lord was brought to the U.S. to stand trial after he twice broke out of Mexican prisons.

The guilty verdict triggered a mandatory sentence of life without parole.

Guzman said Cogan failed to thoroughly investigate claims of juror misconduct in the case.

Under Guzman’s leadership, the Sinaloa cartel was responsible for multiple murders and smuggling mountains of cocaine and other drugs into the United States.

Guzman’s lawyers said he was framed.

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