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Mexican drug lord ‘El Chapo’ sentenced to life in US prison

Image provided by the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR) of Mexico shows drug lord Joaquin Guzman Loera, alias "El Chapo," is extradited to the United States on January 19, 2017, and flown from a jail in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, to Long Island MacArthur Airport in Islip, N.Y., to face charges. (PGR/Prensa Internacional/Zuma Press/TNS)
July 17, 2019

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates as more information becomes available.

The notorious Mexican drug lord known as “El Chapo” has been sentenced to life in prison.

Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, 61, was sentenced to life, plus an additional 30 years, on Wednesday in U.S. federal court. He must also pay $12.6 billion, according to reports.

Prosecutors say he ran “the world’s largest and most prolific drug trafficking organization,” according to the Washington Post, having made more than $14 billion for the cartel over 25 years.

He was also known for evading law enforcement and famously escaped two maximum-security prisons in Mexico, once in 2001 and once in 2015.

“Guzmán was recaptured in 2016 after a meeting with actor Sean Penn tipped authorities to his whereabouts near Mexico’s northwestern coast,” the Post reported. “He has lived in solitary confinement since his extradition from Mexico the following year.”

The Post also reported that, “As head of the Sinaloa Cartel, Guzmán presided over a violent and vast criminal enterprise that, over two decades, moved billions of dollars’ worth of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana from Mexico to the United States. Prosecutors introduced extensive evidence — including 1 million intercepted messages between alleged cartel members and testimony from 14 cooperating witnesses — detailing ghastly killings in addition to the smuggling.”

He was convicted in February and his trial had lasted for three months.