The 61-year-old was found guilty today by a NY court of operating the huge criminal enterprise and is expected to be given life in prison.
The Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has been found guilty of all ten counts at his drug trafficking trial in NY. The jury found Guzman guilty on 17 counts that covered a range of drug crimes related to narcotics trafficking and conspiracies to kill rivals.
The evidence included testimony from over 56 witnesses, including 14 from his crew in hopes of reducing their own prison sentences.
One of the major figures in Mexican drug wars that have roiled the country since 2006, Guzman was extradited to the United States for trial in 2017 after he was arrested in Mexico the year before.
Guzman sat and showed no emotion while the verdict was read. When the jury was discharged, he leaned back in his chair to catch the eye of his wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, who gave him a subtle thumbs-up.
The 11-week trial featured testimonies from more than 50 witnesses and offered one of the most detailed insights into the Sinaloa Cartel - named after the state in Mexico where El Chapo was born - ever.
"This was a case that was literally an avalanche, avalanche of evidence", Lichtman said.
Deliberations were complicated by the trial's vast scope. Pena Nieto denied it, but the allegation fit a theme: politicians, army commanders, police and prosecutors, all on the take.
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While the trial was dominated by Guzman's near-mythical persona as an outlaw who carried a diamond-encrusted handgun and stayed one step ahead of the law, the jury never heard from Guzman himself, except when he told the judge he wouldn't testify.
But his sing-songy voice filled the courtroom, thanks to recordings of intercepted phone calls.
His girlfriend Lucero Guadalupe Sanchez Lopez told the court how he once fled from Mexican marines in 2014 through a trap door beneath a bath in a safe house.
Asked what he was wearing, she replied: "He was naked. He left us behind".
The global notoriety of Guzman was boosted by two escapes from Mexican custody, one in 2001 and another one in 2015 - through a 1.5km underground tunnel large enough to ride a motorcycle.
This came after his second, short-lived escape from prison.
Known as one of the most notorious and infamous drug traffickers in modern history, Guzman managed to evade authorities and broke out of Mexican prisons twice. "He wanted to avoid sitting right there".
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