‘El Chapo’ Guzmán has been chased by federal agents for many years. As a Mexican cartel leader, he has notoriously smuggled more than $12 billion worth of drugs into the United States and is responsible for bloodshed as part of his pursuits.

Guzmán had successfully evaded capture for many years; managing to escape several arrests that occurred in Mexico and the United States. While it was thought by many that he would never be held to justice, on July 17, 2019, Guzmán was given a life sentence by a federal judge in New York City.

How was Guzmán caught?

The capture of Guzmán required close cooperation between Mexican and American law enforcement officials and military officers. They managed to successfully wiretap Guzmán’s communications and as a result, they traced him to a house in Mazatlán, Mexico in 2014. However, he escaped again through a tunnel that opened into his prison cell. He was finally recaptured in 2016 in Los Mochis, Mexico.

Why did he stand trial in the United States?

Guzmán was extradited in 2017 to the United States and has been held in New York in a maximum-security prison ever since.

What sentence did Guzmán receive?

Guzmán was convicted of drug charges, murder and money laundering. He was found guilty on all counts. In addition to receiving a life sentence, he was also sentenced to an additional 30 years and was ordered to pay $12.6 billion.

Guzmán’s trial is an extreme reminder of the seriousness of drug crimes. New York courts are not hesitant to treat drug trafficking and possession accusations very seriously; therefore, a strong defense must be formed.