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REGISTER

12 February 2019, 17:39 GMT / Updated on 12 February 2019, 17:41 GMT

By Elisha Fieldstadt and Tom Winter

The Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán was convicted Tuesday of crimes that lasted more than a quarter of a century, in which prosecutors said he had smuggled more than 200 tons of cocaine to the United States.

After a nearly three-month trial and six days' meeting, a New York jury found the alleged Sinaloa cartel leader guilty of each of the 10 charges he was being tried for, including engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise and multiple counts of spreading large amounts of narcotics internationally.

Guzmán, 61, now faces life in prison. The US had agreed not to seek the death penalty while trying to expel him from Mexico, which abolished the death penalty. He will be convicted on June 25.

More than 56 prosecution witnesses were called to stand at the heavily secured federal courthouse in Brooklyn over the course of 35 days.

The seven women and five men of the jury listened to film-like stories about brutal killings of cartel enemies, political benefits, extensive schedules for traffic drugs, two shameless escapes that were almost three, and even a love triangle.

In final arguments, the prosecutor said to the jury that an "avalanche of evidence" showed that Guzmán ruled a murderous drug empire. Presenting that proof took 11 weeks.

Accused the Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and his wife Emma Coronel Aispuro in this courtroom sketch during the trial of Guzman in the Federal Court of Brooklyn in New York, January 31, 2019.Jane Rosenberg / Reuters

Meanwhile, the defense rested after 30 minutes. They objected that the government's case was only held up by the testimony of criminals who "lie, steal, cheat, use drugs and kill people" for their livelihood.

Guzmán addressed the court only once during the trial, and told the judge that he chose not to testify for his own defense.

"Señor judge, me and my lawyers have talked about this," said Guzmán, "and I will reserve."

Guzmán was convicted for all 10 points:

  • Engage in a continuing criminal enterprise
  • International cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana production and distribution conspiracy
  • Cocaine import conspiracy
  • Cocaine distribution conspiracy
  • International distribution of cocaine
  • International distribution of cocaine
  • International distribution of cocaine
  • International distribution of cocaine
  • Use of firearms
  • The conspiracy to wash the narcotics continues