"El Chapo" sentenced to life imprisonment

"El Chapo" sentenced to life imprisonment
8 min read

"El Chapo" sentenced to life imprisonment

A New York federal court on Wednesday against Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to life in prison for, among other things, drug trafficking and money laundering, and an additional 30 years in prison for illegal possession of weapons.

US District Court Judge Brian Cogan argued that the law did not give him the right to a lighter sentence and that Guzman did not deserve leniency. “The overwhelming evil is so serious,” Cogan stated.

"El Chapo", the head of the Sinaloa cartel, was convicted of a total of 10 different crimes. The court also ordered the forfeiture of his $12.6 billion fortune.

Guzman was found guilty in February after a three-month trial. His Sinaloa cartel smuggled billions of dollars worth of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana from Mexico to the United States. Witnesses testedified of multimillion-dollar bribes paid to high-level Mexican officials.

They said that Guzman ordered and sometimes participated in the torture and murder of people deemed enemies of the cartel, which was based on "brute force and intimidation." How Much Money Was Seized From El Chapo?

Deputy Attorney General of the Department of Justice's Criminal Investigation Division Brian A. Benczkowski called the verdict "a reflection of justice" for the US and Mexico during a press conference.

Guzman, 62, described being in a US prison in a courtroom as "psychological, emotional, mental torture 24 hours a day."

Attorney Jeffrey Lichtman, who was one of the defenders of the Mexican, alleged that the trial was not fair, and that was all his client wanted. He called the proceedings a sham and a show trial.

"At the end of the day, we like to pretend it was justice - it wasn't justice. There can be no situation in which the jury (...) lies to the judge,” argued the lawyer.

With regard to the federal penitentiary in Florence, Colorado, where the Mexican is likely to be incarcerated, he assessed: "You can bury Joaquin Guzman under tons of steel in Colorado and make him disappear, but the stench around this verdict will never go away because of the abandonment of interrogations in of jury misconduct in this case."

The prison has a reputation for being impossible to escape from. "El Chapo" managed to escape from Mexican prisons twice before being arrested and sent to the US.

Defense lawyers argued during the trial that Guzman was a scapegoat and that the witnesses were "gutter people" lying to save themselves.

On Wednesday, it was not yet known whether El Chapo would appeal the verdict.

According to CNN, after the verdict, one of the jurors, speaking anonymously, alleged various alleged wrongdoings, including the jury's concealment that they had access to press reports about the trial, which is prohibited.

Guzman started his drug business in his teens by growing marijuana. Over the course of several decades, he earned USD 14 billion from his practice.

He was protected by a network of corrupt police officers and politicians. In 2009, he entered the list of the richest people in the world at number 701, with a fortune estimated at $ 1 billion.

This organizer was Tse Chi Lop, whose name was unknown until recently. He operated from Hong Kong, Macao, and Southeast Asia. The world learned his identity thanks to a Reuters journalistic investigation.

The story of Tse Chi Lop sounds very spectacular - the Asian El Chapo travels in his own jet, he is protected by a squad of Thai kickboxers, and the mafia has a very free attitude to money. In accordance with the saying that if something comes easy, it can easily go away, Lop plays with money, for example, by passing it in a casino. Reportedly, he lost a modest $66 million in one night at a casino in Macau, and he wasn't too worried about it.

The United Nations Office on Drug and Crime imprecisely estimates Sam Gore's turnover at between $8 billion and nearly $18 billion a year. The UN Office estimates that the cartel has a 40-70% share of the wholesale regional methamphetamine market and has actually had the effect of increasing it at least four-fold in the last five years.

Of course, Lop is a wanted person, and the investigators do not boast about their actions. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) is working on the case together with other services from 20 countries in Asia, North America, and Europe, including Myanmar, China, Thailand, Japan, the United States and Canada, and quite unofficially cooperating with Taiwan.

Tse Chi Lop belongs to the league of El Chapo, or maybe Pablo Escobar, Reuters claims, and we don't know whether Lop considers the term a compliment or an insult. Anyway, Tse Chi Lop is something of a CEO. He oversees the full range of the organization's activities - drug production and distribution, expanding the network far more than the named cartel leaders have ever done. He built a structure different from the dictatorial schemes from Latin America - the Sam Gor syndicate is jointly managed by Min. 19 leaders from different countries. Tse Chi Lop is T1 - the main character. Trading is conducted with a very dispersed network of local buyers, which also sets The Company apart from El Chapo's benchmarks. The products go to the Yakuza as well as to Australia, Lebanon, Thailand or Vietnam.

Besides, T1, although he likes to play with the money he earns, is modest. He doesn't buy governments, he doesn't burn money in the fireplace, he doesn't take pictures with his children in front of the White House.

Now he has to be arrested

Tse Chi Lop is not a man from nowhere. As a youth, against Mao's forced order, he became a member of the local triad, only to escape from the PRC to Hong Kong at the first opportunity, and from there to Canada. He has been involved in the drug business all his life and knows the Asian market like the back of his hand. Served 6 years in the US for smuggling. He defended himself against a life sentence and promised to act for the benefit of society. As a responsible citizen, he founded the company in 2011 - China Peace Investment Group Company Ltd. This is the foundation of The Company. From then on, his actions were very well thought out.

He became famous among dealers as a good supplier, giving a guarantee and excellent after-sales service. If the shipment was intercepted by the police, Tse would send a new one free of charge or return the money. Plus, he was kind, friendly, family-oriented, and didn't use threats. Of course, this business has its own laws, so if necessary, he ordered normal torture with a blowtorch and electricity and forwarded videos of these treatments for psychological effect. Smuggling was generally carried out in packages with tea leaves. The factories that produced methamphetamine (and many other drugs) were so large and so overtly organized that workers didn't even care about the distinctive smell they imbibed during production. How was it resolved? Very simple: "We didn't talk about it."

What's next for Mr. Tse? The world's most wanted criminal remains elusive for now. Just because his identity is known doesn't mean he'll let himself be caught and shut down his business. Loss of merchandise and some operational losses are an inevitable part of the drug business, and until now, Tse Chi Lop understood this perfectly well - unlike Pablo Escobar or El Chapo, who treated their drug empires and businesses as very personal matters. For Tse, what he does is business . He has the knowledge, experience, a network of grateful customers, and an open, constantly growing group of recipients. This gives you a serious chance to avoid facing the justice system.

Oliver Reed 95
Joined: 7 months ago
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