El Chapo cries after he arrives in NY


World's most infamous cartel boss Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman found guilty.

A grand jury in New York City found Mexican drug cartel kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman guilty on all counts; setting the stage for a high-stakes sentencing hearing that could send the global criminal to prison for the rest of his life.

The trial testimony lasted almost three months and the jurors have been tasked with deciding on 10 separate counts.

Convicted by a jury of eight women and four men, he could face life in a US maximum-security federal prison.

He was extradited to the United States in 2017 after being arrested in Mexico the previous year.

Reporters said that El Chapo and his wife, Emma Colonel, didn't show any emotions while the jury read the verdict but afterward, Chapo looked at her and waved. Once the jury left the room, he and his wife Emma Coronel, put their hands to their hearts and gave each other the thumbs up sign.

After three months of testimony, jurors have reached a guilty verdict on all 10 counts. He staged two dramatic escapes from Mexican high-security prisons and cultivated a "Robin Hood" image among the poor in his home state of Sinaloa.

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The evidence included testimony from 14 cooperators. Another testified how Guzman sometimes acted as his own sicario, or hitman, punishing a Sinaloan who dared to work for another cartel by kidnapping him, beating and shooting him and having his men bury the victim while he was still alive, gasping for air.

He was recaptured several months later - his third arrest in 23 years - in the Sinaloa coastal city of Los Mochis and extradited to the USA about a year later. In 2009, Forbes Magazine put him on its list of the world's richest people, with an estimated US$1 billion. Colombian trafficker Alex Cifuentes caused a stir by testifying that former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto took a $100 million bribe from Guzman.

While the trial was dominated by Guzman's persona as a near-mythical 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. The same day, he grinned broadly at audience member Alejandro Edda, the Mexican actor who plays Guzman in the Netflix drama Narcos.

This came after his second, short-lived escape from prison.

Outside the court, U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue called it a "day of reckoning", promising the government would continue to root out cartel-related drug-running and corruption.

He was seized again in 2014, but pulled off his best known escape the following year when he disappeared into a tunnel dug into his cell in a maximum security prison.