UPDATE | El Chapo found guilty
NEW YORK (AP) — Mexico's most notorious drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, was convicted today of running an industrial-scale smuggling operation after a three-month trial packed with Hollywood-style tales of grisly killings, political payoffs, cocaine hidden in jalapeno cans, jewel-encrusted guns and a naked escape with his mistress through a tunnel.
He will be sentenced in June. He faces life behind bars.
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 U.S. prison selected to thwart another one of the breakouts that made him a folk hero in his native country.
New York jurors whose identities were kept secret reached a verdict after deliberating six days in the expansive case, sorting through what authorities called an "avalanche" of evidence gathered since the late 1980s that Guzman and his murderous Sinaloa drug cartel made billions in profits by smuggling tons of cocaine, heroin, meth and marijuana into the U.S.
As the judge read the verdict, Guzman stared at the jury straight-faced. When the jury was discharged, he leaned back in his chair to catch the eye of his wife, who gave him a subtle thumbs-up.
U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan lauded the jury's meticulous attention to detail and the "remarkable" approach it took toward deliberations. Cogan said it made him "very proud to be an American."
NEW YORK (AP) — Jurors at the U.S. trial of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman have found him guilty on all 10 counts involving drug trafficking after their sixth day of deliberations.
They had returned today to grapple with the complicated case at a federal courthouse in Brooklyn.
The trial testimony lasted nearly three months and the jurors have been tasked with deciding on 10 separate counts.
The evidence included testimony from 14 cooperators. Many described Guzman's willingness to use violence against enemies of a cartel that prosecutors say smuggled at least 200 tons of cocaine into the U.S. over two decades.
The defense has accused prosecution cooperators of making him a scapegoat for their own crimes.
After three months of testimony, jurors have been going through a verdict form that asks them to make 53 decisions about whether prosecutors have proven various elements of the 10-count indictment.