In this courtroom drawing, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, centre, sits at the defence table while listening to the judge addressing the jury during his long-running drug trafficking trial in NY.
Mexico's most notorious drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, was convicted Tuesday 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. The jury found Guzman guilty on 17 counts that covered a range of drug crimes related to narcotics trafficking and conspiracies to kill rivals.
He is yet to be sentenced, but is likely to face life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Guzman staged two dramatic escapes from Mexican high-security prisons and cultivated a Robin Hood image among the poor in his home state of Sinaloa.
Reporters said that El Chapo and his wife, Emma Colonel, didn't show any emotions while the jury read the verdict but afterward, Chapo looked at her and waved. When the jury was discharged, he leaned back in his chair to catch the eye of his wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, who gave him a subtle thumbs-up. The notorious cartel boss, born Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, has been on trial in NY, which featured testimony from multiple witnesses.
Lichtman said the defense "fought like complete savages" and will appeal the case.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was elected a year ago after promising a change to the deadly military-led war against drug gangs, suggesting a negotiated peace and amnesty for non-violent drug dealers, traffickers and farmers.
Guzman made a name for himself in the 1980s as "El Rapido", the speedy one, by building cross-border tunnels that allowed him to move cocaine from Mexico into the United States faster than anyone else.
U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan lauded the jury's meticulous attention to detail and the "remarkable" approach it took toward deliberations.
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The evidence included testimony from 14 cooperators.
Another testified how Guzman sometimes acted as his own 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. "Once that door is open, it can't be closed again", he said. It later dropped him from the list, saying it was too hard to quantify his assets.
Jurors heard more than 200 hours of testimony, including allegations by his former henchmen. A spokesman for the ex-president has denied the claim.
The defense team called only one witness and was trying question the credibility of prosecution witnesses during the trial.
This came after his second, short-lived escape from prison.
Chapo was detained by the Mexican government in 2014 but escaped a year later.
But the Mexican government says he blew his cover through a series of slip ups, including an attempt to make a movie about his life.
Together, they are the biggest producers of drugs sold on US streets.