The jury in the sensational New York trial of Mexican cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has found him guilty of operating a criminal enterprise.
The drug lord could now spend the rest of his life in a maximum security US prison after jurors spent six days deliberating over his fate.
After almost three months of testimony from more than 50 witnesses at Brooklyn federal court, jurors convicted the notorious drug kingpin on all counts relating to smuggling drugs into the United States.
Guzman, 61, is known for twice escaping prison in Mexico, in a laundry cart and through a hidden tunnel — before he was extradited to the United States in 2017.
His wife Emma Coronel Aispuro, who faithfully attended each day of the trial, last week hired bodyguards after she was hit over the head by a photographer, raising fears for her safety.
The mother of twins arranged the security through the Tillary Hotel a few blocks from the court. Former beauty queen Ms Coronel was at the centre of a storm when she was caught with a banned mobile phone in the courtroom, and the prosecution accused her of “secretly communicating” with her husband.
The judge eventually let her off the hook.
The jury heard testimony during his trial about his rise to the top of the Sinaloa cartel. The prosecution claimed he was responsible for smuggling at least 200 tons of cocaine into the United States as well as a string of murders.
Guzman pleaded not guilty on all counts, with his defence arguing that he was not the boss. He did not testify at the trial.
The charges relate to running a criminal enterprise, using firearms, distributing drugs and conspiring to launder the illegal profits. He could face decades in prison.