Mexican drug kingpin ‘El Chapo’ gets life sentence

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Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman,62, a Mexican drug kingpin has been sentenced to life behind bars in a US prison.

El Chapo is known for his killings, bribe and using tunnels to get out of trouble.

The Mexican was sentenced by a federal judge in Brooklyn, five months after his conviction in an epic drug trafficking case.

He was being protected in Mexico by an army of gangsters and an elaborate corruption operation, was brought to the US to stand trial after he twice escaped from Mexican prisons.

Guzman had earlier complained of being ill-treated while awaiting sentence.

“My case was stained and you denied me a fair trial when the whole world was watching,” Guzman was quoted as saying in court through an interpreter.

“When I was extradited to the United States, I expected to have a fair trial, but what happened was exactly the opposite.”

He was also ordered Guzman to pay US$12.6 billion ($A18 billion) in ill-gotten proceeds – money his drug-trafficking organisation made distributing cocaine and other drugs around the US.

The evidence showed that under Guzman’s orders, the Sinaloa cartel was responsible for smuggling mountains of cocaine and other drugs into the United States during his 25-year reign, prosecutors said in court papers recapping the trial.

They also said his “army of sicarios” was under orders to kidnap, torture and murder anyone who got in his way.

The defence argued he was framed by other traffickers who became government witnesses so they could get breaks in their own cases.

Guzman has been largely cut off from the outside world since his extradition in 2017 and his remarks in the courtroom could be the last time the public hears from him.

Wary of his history of escaping from Mexican prisons, US authorities have kept him in solitary confinement in an ultra-secure unit at a Manhattan jail.

Guzman has also been kept under close guard at his appearances at the Brooklyn courthouse where his case unfolded.

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