Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, more commonly known by the nickname "El Chapo", once considered the most powerful and feared drug trafficker in the entire world, was found guilty on all counts related to leading Mexico's Sinaloa cartel on Tuesday.
The trial testimony lasted almost three months and the jurors have were tasked with deciding on 10 separate counts. He faces a possible sentence of life in prison.
He was extradited to the United States in 2017 after being arrested in Mexico the previous year.
After being escorted off the plane at MacArthur Airport on Long Island in shackles, Guzman, 61, then sat in a chair in a hangar surrounded by USA federal agents looking stunned and scared for his life - and appeared to wipe a tear from his eyes. Once the jury left the room, he and his wife put their hands to their hearts and gave each other the thumbs up sign. The notorious cartel boss, born Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, has been on trial in NY, which featured testimony from multiple witnesses.
NY jurors, whose identities were kept secret, deliberated for six days, sorting through piles of evidence gathered since the 1980s that Guzman's drug cartel smuggled tons of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana into the US. He did not try to deny his crimes, but instead had his lawyers argue he was merely a fall guy for corrupt government officials guilty of far worse wrongdoing that him.
In the trial, which has lasted several months, prosecutors used more than 50 witnesses to detail Guzman's involvement in making billions of dollars distributing drugs in the U.S.
Mexico has been mired for 12 years in a deadly military-led war against drug gangs.
The notorious former leader of the dreaded Sinaloa Cartel has been the subject of numerous TV shows and films, including Univision's series El Chapo, a recent Netflix documentary with the same title that was ridiculed by Sean Penn, Netflix's Narcos: Mexico and documentary The Day I Met El Chapo with Kate del Castillo. Another testified how Guzman sometimes acted as his own sicario, or 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, gasping for air. He was arrested again in January 2016 and extradited to the US a year later.
This came after his second, short-lived escape from prison.
The defendant had previously escaped from jail by hiding in a laundry bin in 2001.