Increase font size Decrease font size Reset font size

Drug kingpin El Chapo sentenced to life in US prison

NEW YORK: Once one of the world`s most powerful and notorious criminals, Mexican drug lord Joaquin `El Chapo` Guzman was jailed for life on Wednesday the mandatory sentence for a host of crimes spanning a quaner-century.

Guzman, the 62-year-old former co-leader of Mexico`s mighty Sinaloa drug canel, was convicted in February in US federal court on a spate of charges, including smuggling hundreds of tons of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana into the United States.

The much-anticipated hearing in New York capped a dramatic legal saga and saw Guzman deliver what will likely be his final public words before he is taken to a supermax federal prison to live out his days.

`There was no justice here,` he said, wearing a gray suit, lilac shin, purple tie and publicly sponing his trademark mustache for the first time stateside.

The charges, which also include money laundering and weapons-related offences, carried a mandatory life sentence.

US Federal Judge Brian Cogan tacked a symbolic 30 years onto the sentence and ordered Guzman to pay $12.6 billion in forfeiture an amount based on a conservative estimate of revenues from his canel`s drug sales in the United States. So far, US authorities have not recovered a dime.

In the Brooklyn coudroom, Guzman said prayers from his supporters had given him `strength to endure this great torture,` which he said has been `one of the most inhuman that I have ever experienced... a lack of respect for my human dignity.` When entering and before leaving the room, he touched his heart and blew a kiss to his wife Emma Coronel, who wore a black and white suit and potentially saw her husband for the last time.-AFP