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Drug kingpin Joaquín Guzman indicted on multiple counts

by Paul Cifonelli - Staff Writer
Tue, Feb 19th 2019 04:00 pm
no escaping Joaquín `El Chapo` Guzman was detained and extradited to the United States to face a trial for charges of drug trafficking, murder and many others.
no escaping Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzman was detained and extradited to the United States to face a trial for charges of drug trafficking, murder and many others.

Joaquín Guzman, more commonly known as El Chapo, has been caught yet again and arrested. This is the fourth time that Guzman has been captured since 1993, but the first time in the United States, according to Time Magazine. The Mexican drug lord received help to escape from prison the first three times.

Guzman, 61, has long been known as one of the greatest drug lords in history. Guzman was the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel for many years, and has generated the group billions of dollars during his years of control. Guzman has run most of his business in Mexico and the U.S.

He used boats, tunnels and trucks, among other methods of transportation, to get cocaine and heroin around Mexico and into the U.S., according to Kevin McCoy of USA Today. Guzman and his cartel distributed to many cities across the U.S.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the Sinaloa Cartel was created in early 1980s and quickly became one of the biggest crime organizations in the world. Guzman grew into a large-scale drug trafficker during the late 1980s, which was when the U.S. began cracking down on drugs entering the country.

Guzman’s rise to power in the drug trafficking industry coincided with the death of Pablo Escobar.

On Tuesday Feb. 12, Guzman was convicted of multiple charges. Those charges were drug trafficking, multiple weapons charges and operating a criminal enterprise. Guzman faces life imprisonment due to the charges.

It is also expected that federal prosecutors will pursue a forfeiture of property Guzman received due to drug trafficking. It is expected that the property is worth $14 billion, according to Katie Bernard of CNN. Despite being convicted in Brooklyn, NY on Tuesday following a 12-week trial, [Guzman] will not be sentenced until June 25, according to McCoy.

Although Guzman facing life imprisonment, McCoy reported that Guzman remained rather stoic while hearing the news of his indictment. While he was being brought out of the courtroom by security officers, Guzman’s wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, gave him a thumbs up. That was the most emotion either of the two showed on the final day of the trial, according to McCoy.

Despite the ruling in New York, Guzman still faces charges in Florida and Texas, among other states. He could run into a problem similar to that of Daniel Hernandez, also known as Tekashi 6ix9ine.

Hernandez was not allowed to attend trials in other states due to his incarceration in New York. The judge he was set to face in Texas sent out a warrant for Hernandez because he did not attend his trial.

While the charges are beginning to really pile up for Guzman in the U.S., Texas senator Ted Cruz suggested that the United States should make Guzman pay for the highly contentious border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. Cruz feels that the money the government is trying to seize should be used to fund the wall.

“U.S. prosecutors are seeking $14 billion in drug profits and other assets from El Chapo which should go towards funding our wall to #SecureTheBorder,” the Texas Republican wrote on Twitter. “It's time to pass my EL CHAPO Act. I urge my Senate colleagues to take swift action on this crucial legislation.”

The passage of Cruz’s bill could prevent a partial government shutdown. If the bill was passed by Friday Feb. 15 at 11:59 p.m., the government would have avoided the shutdown. However, the bill was not passed and the government was shut down.

President Donald Trump was looking for $1.375 billion to build a border wall covering 55 miles. The money President Trump was looking for to build the wall would hardly make a dent in the sum that the government is trying to confiscate from Guzman.

Despite Guzman’s arrest and incarceration, his cartel is still continuing operations and running as if Guzman was still there. Progress on stopping the group has not been slowed at all since Guzman was captured.

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Taken by Mathieu Starke, staff photographer

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