A trial that has captivated two nations and includes enough drugs, money, and corruption to keep true crime enthusiasts busy for decades has reached the sentencing stage in U.S. Federal Court.
Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, the notorious drug lord who has escaped the long arm of the law for decades, was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday July 17. As reported by The Washington Post, the realization that there would be no escape this time seemed to leave the once untouchable kingpin angry.
"When extradited, I expected to have a fair trial where justice was blind and my fame would not be a factor, but what happened was actually the opposite. The government of the United States will send me to a prison where my name will never be heard again. I will take this opportunity to say there was no justice here." (Source: "Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, the notorious drug lord, receives life sentence in U.S. federal court", The Washington Post)
El Chapo was convicted earlier this year on all 10 counts of his indictment. Despite his lawyer's promises to appeal the verdicts, there is little chance El Chapo will see the light of day outside of a federal prison again. The federal government has immense resources and was determined to make an example of El Chapo as part of ongoing efforts to crack down on the international drug trade in the wake of the opiate crisis.
As El Chapo's attorney Jeffrey Lichtman said after the verdict, "I've never faced a case with so many cooperating witnesses and so much evidence."
You do not have to be an international drug kingpin to fall on the wrong side of federal law enforcement. If you find yourself facing criminal charges it is crucial to have a proven firm fighting to protect your rights, your freedom, and your reputation.