El Chapo trial: Mexican drug lord GUILTY and will NEVER be released

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"The panel spent more than five days mulling the drug lord's fate before convicting him on charges of operating a continuing criminal enterprise, use of firearms and various charges of conspiracy to import and distribute cocaine, heroin and marijuana", writes the New York Post.

Small in stature, Guzman's smuggling exploits, the violence he used and the sheer size of his illicit business made Guzman the world's most notorious drug baron since Colombia's Pablo Escobar, who was shot dead by police in 1993.

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. He faces a possible sentence of life in prison.

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.

The 61-year-old was a key player in the Mexican drug cartel landscape.

Guzman's lawyers say he was set up as a "fall guy" by Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada, a powerful drug lord from Sinaloa who remains at large.

The most detailed evidence against Guzman came from more than a dozen former associates who struck deals to cooperate with USA prosecutors.

The defense team called only one witness and was trying question the credibility of prosecution witnesses during the trial.

Ray Donovan, head the of the Drug Enforcement Administration's NY office said the case underscored Guzman's true colors, showing that "the real Chapo is a ruthless killer and manipulator". Defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman said these witnesses had "lied every day of their lives - their miserable, selfish lives". 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.

While the trial was dominated by Guzman's persona as a near-mythical outlaw who carried a diamond-encrusted handgun and stayed one step ahead of the law, the jury never heard from Guzman himself, except when he told the judge he wouldn't testify.

Chapo was detained by the Mexican government in 2014 but escaped a year later.

Asked what he was wearing, she replied: "He was naked. He left us behind". Unlike other people in a similar position, Guzman would not plead guilty and went for a public trial after being extradited to the US. He escaped from a Mexican prison in 2001 in a laundry cart and again in 2015 through a tunnel.

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