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

Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman centre

They were are asked to make 53 decisions about whether prosecutors have proven various elements of the 10-count indictment against Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

Murderous Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman appeared scared and teary after arriving in NY under ultra-heavy federal guard in January 2017 to face charges, according to video released by the feds Tuesday.

Emma Coronel Aispuro, center, leaves Brooklyn federal court in NY, after attending the trial of her husband Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, on January 17, 2019.

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.

El Chapo escaped from Mexican prisons twice, but was recaptured in 2016, and extradited to the USA in January 2017.

Jeffrey Lichtman, a lawyer for Guzman, told reporters after the verdict that the defence faced an uphill fight, given the amount of evidence the government presented, and the widespread perception that Guzman was already guilty.

The worldwide notoriety of Guzman was boosted by two escapes from Mexican custody, one in 2001 and another one in 2015 - through a 1.5km underground tunnel large enough to ride a motorcycle. Another testified how Guzman sometimes acted as his own sicario, or hitman, punishing a Sinaloan who dared to work for another cartel by kidnapping him, beating and shooting him and having his men bury the victim while he was still alive, gasping for air.

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.

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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.

Mr Peña Nieto denied it, but the allegation fit a theme: politicians, army commanders, police and prosecutors, all on the take. The same day, he grinned broadly at audience member Alejandro Edda, the Mexican actor who plays Guzman in the Netflix drama Narcos.

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.

But his sing-songy voice filled the courtroom, thanks to recordings of intercepted phone calls.

Chapo was detained by the Mexican government in 2014 but escaped a year later. "He left us behind".

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.

"Why? Because he is guilty and he never wanted to be in a position where he would have to answer for his crimes", she told the jury.

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