A much-awaited verdict was reached on February 12 in a trial that the world has been watching. After years of allegations, charges, and even a prison escape, an alleged drug kingpin finally learned whether he would be spending the rest of his life in a United States federal prison.
As reported by The New York Times, Joaquín Guzmán Loera aka “El Chapo” was convicted on all 10 counts he faced.
“As Judge Brian M. Cogan read the jury’s charge sheet in open court — 10 straight guilty verdicts on all 10 counts of the indictment — Mr. Guzmán sat listening to a translator, looking stunned. When the reading of the verdict was complete, Mr. Guzmán leaned back to glance at his wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, who flashed him a thumbs up with tears in her eyes.” (Source: “El Chapo Found Guilty on All Counts, Faces Life in Prison”, The New York Times).
Richard P. Donoghue, the prosecutor on the case, dedicated the win to anyone who has lost a loved one to addiction or drug violence, adding that the victory shows that the war on drugs is worth fighting.
Meanwhile, El Chapo’s lawyers promised they would appeal the verdicts. They lamented that they not only had to fight against criminal charges and mountains of evidence, they also had to fight the perception that El Chapo was already guilty.
We have been keeping our eyes on this trial, as it serves to demonstrate the immense resources at the disposal of government prosecutors. Jeffrey Lichtman, one of El Chapo’s attorneys, says it best: “I’ve never faced a case with so many cooperating witnesses and so much evidence.”
If you find yourself on the wrong side of federal criminal charges it is crucial to have a law firm on your side with the resources and skills necessary to make sure your side of the story is heard.