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El Chapo is going away for life — and he’s not happy about it.
The Sinaloa cartel boss, born Joaquín Guzmán-Loera, was sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole Wednesday. In a packed hearing in the same Brooklyn courtroom where he was convicted on a 10-count indictment earlier this year, the kingpin said his trial was unjust, pointing to allegations of juror misconduct reported by VICE News after his conviction.
The hearing was almost certainly Chapo’s final moment in public, and he used it to speak his mind. Referring to the alleged misconduct, Chapo told the judge, speaking in Spanish through a translator: “In response, you decided to do nothing. You didn’t want to question not even one member one of the jury to determine if I received justice.”
Chapo’s epic three-month trial ended February 12 with a unanimous guilty verdict and featured testimony from more than a dozen former high-ranking cartel members, but the 62-year-old drug lord decided not to take the stand in his own defense. His remarks Wednesday were the first time he has spoken at length since a videotaped interview with Rolling Stone in 2016. He appeared in court Wednesday sporting a tidy salt-and-pepper mustache, and he blew kisses to his wife in the courtroom gallery throughout the hearing.
Judge Brian Cogan, who presided over Chapo’s trial, handed down the life sentence — plus 30 years to be served concurrently — which was mandatory under the law due to Chapo’s conviction for leading an organized crime group.
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