Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, more commonly known by the nickname “El Chapo,” once considered the most powerful and feared drug trafficker in the entire world, was found guilty on all counts related to leading Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel on Tuesday. The verdict comes following a wildly dramatic, three-month long trial in New York City that involved extreme measures to prevent El Chapo from escaping, such as his accommodations at a Manhattan prison supposedly being even more secure than a SuperMax.
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 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.
Over 50 witnesses were said to have taken the stand over the course of the trial, which included testimony about El Chapo’s excessive use of violence towards his enemies, purchasing underage sex slaves as young as 13, and other insane details about his time as the most notorious drug lord of all time:
Prosecution witnesses offered testimony that swung from the bizarre to the shocking. According to testimony, he had a diamond-encrusted pistol and a gold-plated AK-47; he kicked off a cartel war after a rival refused to shake his hand; he and a mistress once fled naked through a secret tunnel under a bath tub; he escaped from a Mexican prison with the help of his wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro; and, in one of the most controversial allegations, he bought off Enrique Peña Nieto for $100 million — a claim the former Mexican president has denied.
Guzmán’s conviction ends a decades-long reign of terror, and people couldn’t help but make jokes — many about the probability that he actually stays behind bars as he has a tendency for wild escapes.
El Chapo still awaits sentencing but faces life in an American prison, however the Bureau of Prisons has yet to determine where he will be housed. God help them.