The former Sinaloa Cartel boss, real name Joaquin Guzman, was found guilty of the crimes after jurors at a courthouse in Brooklyn, New York, spent six days deliberating the charges.
Mexican-born El Chapo, 61, showed no emotion as the verdicts were read out, but smiled at 29 year-old wife Emma Coronel Aispuro wife who put her hand on his heart.
The five-and-a-half-foot drug boss, whose name translates as ‘Shortly’ then gave the thumbs-up as he was led out of the courtroom.
Guzman was convicted of smuggling over 200 tons of cocaine to the US over a 25 year period, earning billions of dollars in profits for his cartel, then the world’s largest, and now faces a life sentence.
Jurors agreed with prosecutors that he amassed huge wealth and power leading ‘the world’s largest and most prolific drug trafficking organization.
They heard blood-curdling evidence about how El Chapo once beat and shot a worker who defected to a rival cartelk, before burying him alive.
El Chapo’s defense case lasted just half an hour. He did not try to deny his crimes, but instead had his lawyers argue he was merely a fall guy for corrupt government officials guilty of far worse wrongdoing that him.
Guzman is believed to have led the cartel for decades, and faced a total of 17 charges, including including operating a continuing criminal enterprise conspiring to murder rivals and money laundering.
El Chapo escaped from Mexican prisons twice, but was recaptured in 2016, and extradited to the US in January 2017.
One of the trial’s most memorable pieces of evidence came from El Chapo’s mistress Lucero Guadalupe Sanchez Lopez, who testified she was in bed in a safe house with an on-the-run Guzman in 2014 when Mexican marines started breaking down his door.
She said Guzman led her to a trap door beneath a bathtub that opened up to a tunnel that allowed them to escape. Asked what he was wearing, she replied: He was naked. He took off running. He left us behind.
The identities of jurors were kept for their safety and to try and stop the Mexican drug lord, real name Joaquin Guzman, from getting his cronies to sway the verdict with bribes or threats.
They were escorted to and from the fortress-like Brooklyn courthouse by US Marshals during each day of the 35 day trial, which saw 56 prosecution witnesses called to testify against El Chapo.
New York’s Brooklyn Bridge partly closed-off while El Chapo was transported from his prison cell in Manhattan to the courtroom for hearings.