BY ROY ALBERT ANDRADE, K1LLER, Inc.
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK - Mexico’s billionaire drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, 61, was convicted on February 12, 2019 by a federal jury of being the "head" of a continuing criminal enterprise, known as the Sinaloa Cartel, a charge that includes over two dozen drug-related violations and one murder conspiracy. The 5½-foot drug lord was convicted of all 10 counts of a superseding indictment, which includes narcotics trafficking, and participating in a money laundering conspiracy among other crimes. El Chapo faces a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.
“I am pleased that the Department has brought Joaquin Guzman Loera (El Chapo) to justice by securing a conviction against this drug kingpin, who was a principal leader of the Sinaloa Cartel,” said Acting Attorney General Whitaker. “As was clear to the jury, Guzman Loera’s massive, multi-billion dollar criminal enterprise was responsible for flooding the streets of the United States with hundreds of tons of cocaine, as well as enormous quantities of other dangerous drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine. The trial evidence also overwhelmingly showed that Guzman’s unceasing efforts to expand his cartel’s control and consolidate its power left a wake of corruption and violence in communities in both Mexico and the United States. This case demonstrated the extraordinary reach of the U.S. government, our tenacity and commitment to pursuing kingpins like Guzman whom — if their power is unchecked — will, like Guzman, develop what for 25 years was an almost unstoppable capacity to move massive quantities of drugs into our country. Guzman had the capital to absorb huge losses and run his enterprise with impunity; the enormous power to corrupt; and the capability to employ violence on a massive scale. This case, and more importantly, this conviction serves as an irrefutable message to the kingpins that remain in Mexico, and those that aspire to be the next Chapo Guzman, that eventually you will be apprehended and prosecuted. Finally, this verdict demonstrates that the United States, working in close partnership with the Mexican government, will continue to bring all possible resources to bear in its fight against international drug traffickers and their violent organizations.”
“Today’s conviction of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman demonstrates the dedication and determination of the men and women of DEA to bring the world’s most dangerous and prolific drug trafficker to justice,” said DEA Acting Administrator Dhillon. “Those who bring drugs and violence into the United States that destroy lives and communities will not be tolerated, nor evade our reach. The success of this case is a testament to the strength of our relationship with our Mexican counterparts. DEA will continue to pursue justice worldwide and protect Americans.”
“The guilty verdict against Joaquin Guzman Loera, one of the most violent and feared drug kingpins of our time, is a testament to the hard work and courage of America’s frontline law enforcement personnel, including ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations,” said DHS Secretary Nielsen. “They gathered substantial evidence over multiple investigations, which made his extradition to the United States and a successful prosecution possible. Today’s verdict sends an unmistakable message to transnational criminals: you cannot hide, you are not beyond our reach, and we will find you and bring you to face justice. Like Guzman, you will suffer the consequences of your criminal behavior. I applaud the brave men and women at DHS who helped make this conviction possible and thank our interagency and international partners for their exceptional work.”
“Guzman Loera’s bloody reign atop the Sinaloa Cartel has come to an end, and the myth that he could not be brought to justice has been laid to rest,” said U.S. Attorney Donoghue. “Today, Guzman Loera has been held accountable for the tons of illegal narcotics he trafficked for more than two decades, the murders he ordered and committed, and the billions of dollars he reaped while causing incalculable pain and suffering to those devastated by his drugs. Today’s verdict is the culmination of the tireless work of countless brave members of law enforcement, here and abroad, and we congratulate them. The Department of Justice is committed to eradicating criminal organizations that fuel America’s drug epidemic, and our mission will continue until it is completed.”
“The conviction of former Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin Guzman Loera strips the power from a man who employed horrific acts of violence to infect communities, throughout the United States and abroad, with the venom of illicit drugs,” said U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan. “Today’s verdict is a reminder to all, that our international borders do not protect narco-traffickers and the cartels’ criminal enterprises from federal prosecution. U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the nation stand united with our domestic and foreign law enforcement partners, as we continue our fight against transnational criminal organizations.”
“The reign of Joaquin Guzman Loera’s crime and violence has come to an end,” said FBI Director Wray. “As leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, Guzman Loera carried out and directed acts of brazen violence as he oversaw the import and distribution of vast amounts of illegal drugs throughout the United States. But today, through the steadfast determination and collective efforts of the FBI and our law enforcement partners both domestic and abroad, and due to our continuing partnership with the Government of Mexico, justice has been served.”
“HSI is committed to using our unique border authority to target and dismantle transnational criminal organizations responsible for trafficking narcotics and bringing violence into the United States,” said HSI Executive Associate Director Benner. “Through collaboration with local, federal and international law enforcement partners, HSI special agents were able to bring an end to Joaquin Guzman Loera’s criminal activities, and help ensure he was brought to justice.”
“The conviction of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman demonstrates what is possible when law enforcement works collectively and coordinates their efforts,” said Acting U.S. Marshal Mullee. “The U.S. Marshals Service ensured the integrity of the judicial process in this case. From providing safe and secure detention and transportation of the world’s most notorious drug kingpin to ensuring the anonymity of the jury, protecting the judge, attorneys, witnesses and the public, the Marshals Service proudly played its important role in the process. I would like to express my gratitude to all of our law enforcement partners who worked tirelessly in support of our mission. They are the talented men and women of the New York City Police Department, Federal Protective Service, 24th Civil Support Team of the New York National Guard, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The U.S. Marshals take our responsibility of protecting the federal judicial process very seriously. We must anticipate and deter threats, while continuously developing and employing innovative protective tactics. We carry out these responsibilities with precision every day across the country. The successful prosecution of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman stands as a shining example of our mission.”
Shawn W. Anderson
Jessica K. Mattingly
Roy Albert Andrade