El Chapo, the notorious Mexican drug lord, has been found guilty on drug trafficking charges at his New York City trial and will now spend the rest of his life in a U.S. prison. The 66-year-old's wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, was among those in the courtroom on Tuesday to see his fate sealed.
The trial testimony lasted almost three months and the jurors have been tasked with deciding on 10 separate counts.
Guzman faced a drumbeat of drug-trafficking and conspiracy convictions that could put the 61-year-old escape artist behind bars for decades in a maximum-security US prison selected to thwart another one of the breakouts that embarrassed his native country.
Likewise, the trial involved the twice-daily closing of the Brooklyn Bridge to ensure safe passage for the for the parade of government vehicles transporting El Chapo from the prison to the courthouse.
The 61-year-old was found guilty today by a NY court of operating the huge criminal enterprise and is expected to be given life in prison. The jury, which took days to deliberate, was made up of four men and eight women who had their identities kept anonymous for their own protection.
Guzman, 61, previously broke out of two Mexican prisons before he was captured and was extradited to the United States. Guzman's lawyers did not deny his crimes as much as argue he was a fall guy for government witnesses who were more evil than he was.
Unlike other people in a similar position, Guzman would not plead guilty and went for a public trial after being extradited to the US.
Mexico has been mired for 12 years in a deadly military-led war against drug gangs.
The notorious former leader of the dreaded Sinaloa Cartel has been the subject of numerous TV shows and films, including Univision's series El Chapo, a recent Netflix documentary with the same title that was ridiculed by Sean Penn, Netflix's Narcos: Mexico and documentary The Day I Met El Chapo with Kate del Castillo.
The prosecution's case against Guzman, a roughly 5½-foot figure whose nickname translates to "Shorty", included the testimony of former associates and other witnesses.
Despite Guzman's downfall, the Sinaloa Cartel still has the biggest US distribution presence of Mexican cartels, followed by the fast-growing Jalisco New Generation Cartel, according to the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
He was seized again in 2014, but pulled off his best known escape the following year when he disappeared into a tunnel dug into his cell in a maximum security prison.