El Chapo is sentenced to life behind bars and told to forfeit $12.6 BILLION to the US government at a dramatic court hearing where he broke his silence to complain about ‘torturous’ conditions in jail and thanked his glamorous wife for standing by him
- El Chapo – aka Joaquin Guzman – was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years
- He was also ordered to forfeit $12.6 billion in restitution to the US government
- Guzman, 62, was convicted in February of a slew of drug trafficking charges
- He denied them all, claiming he was being framed by the Mexican cartel
- On Wednesday, he spoke for the first time throughout the trial to thank his wife and his legal team for their support
- His wife will not be allowed to visit him behind bars and Wednesday was likely the last time they will ever see each other
- María Consuelo Loera Pérez, his mother, was denied a humanitarian visa by the US government so could not attend the hearing
- He also complained about the ‘torturous’ conditions in the prison where he has been since January 2017
- Guzman will now be sent to a supermax prison to live out his days
- He famously escaped Mexican prison twice before being extradited to the US
El Chapo has been sentenced to life imprisonment plus 30 years after a dramatic sentencing hearing in Brooklyn where he pleaded for mercy and complained about the conditions inside his New York City cell.
The 62-year-old broke his silence to make a statement, his first throughout his months-long legal saga.
Speaking through a translator, he complained that he was ‘tortured 24 hours-a-day’ in his solitary confinement cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, where he has been since January 2017.
He also complained that he was denied a fair trial, that the judge failed to investigate claims of prosecutorial misconduct and said the United States is ‘no better than any corrupt country’.
Guzman, wearing a gray suit, purple tie, and purple shirt, began by blowing a kiss to his wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, and thanked her and his legal team for their support.
He had grown his mustache back for the hearing which was surrounded by armed guards and caused such a media scrum that journalists slept outside the courthouse to ensure they got a spot.
El Chapo’s mother was denied a humanitarian visa to attend the hearing. The only other relatives in attendance were his oldest daughter, Rosa Isela, who holds US citizenship, and one of his nieces, Dania.
After the hearing, El Chapo’s lawyers vowed to appeal the sentence.
‘All we ask for is a fair trial, I’m not here to say that the gentleman was a saint, we just want a fair trial,’ Jeffrey Lichtman, the head of his legal team, said.
Of the $12.6billion forfeiture, Lichtman said it was a sham.
‘It’s a fiction. It’s part of the show trial that we’re here for. They’ve been looking for his assets for how long, decades?’