World

El Chapo Guzman to be sentenced in US

By AAP Newswire

Mexican drug boss Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is expected to be handed a life sentence on Wednesday after his conviction for decades of smuggling narcotics earlier this year.

Guzman, 62, was found guilty of "engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise" for trafficking tonnes of drugs into the United States, as well as conspiracy to commit murder and money-laundering conspiracy.

US prosecutors argued in a letter to the judge that there is a mandatory minimum of life imprisonment for Guzman's crimes, adding the evidence at trial showed him to be a "ruthless and bloodthirsty leader" of the Sinaloa Cartel, one of the most powerful drug-trafficking organisations in Mexico.

The former head of the Sinaloa cartel was extradited to the US in 2017 to face the charges. As part of the extradition agreement with Mexico, the US ruled out the death penalty.

He famously escaped from Mexican prisons twice, once reportedly in a laundry basket and once in a spectacular jailbreak through a tunnel that accomplices had dug to his cell.