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'El Chapo' sentenced to life imprisonment

July 18, 2019 01:03 IST

The Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman -- who was once notorious for his ability to kill, bribe or tunnel his way out of trouble -- has been sentenced to life behind bars in a United States prison.

A federal judge in Brooklyn handed down the sentence on Wednesday, five months after Guzman's conviction in an epic drug-trafficking case.

The 62-year-old drug lord, who had been protected in Mexico by an army of gangsters and an elaborate corruption operation, was brought to the US to stand trial after he twice escaped from Mexican prisons.

 

Before he was sentenced, Guzman, complained about the conditions of his confinement and told the judge he was denied a fair trial.

He said US District Judge Brian Cogan failed to thoroughly investigate claims of juror misconduct.

The guilty verdict in February at Guzman's 11-week trial triggered a mandatory sentence of life without parole .

The evidence showed that under Guzman's orders, the Sinaloa cartel was responsible for smuggling mountains of cocaine and other drugs into the United States during his 25-year reign, prosecutors said in court papers re-capping the trial.

The defense argued he was framed by other traffickers who became government witnesses so they could get breaks in their own cases.

Guzman has been largely cut off from the outside world since his extradition in 2017 and his remarks in the courtroom Wednesday could be the last time the public hears from him.

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