Notorious drug kingpin Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán was sentenced to life plus 30 years in prison. Guzmán, 62, was also ordered to by a federal judge to pay $12.6 billion in forfeiture during his sentencing hearing in Brooklyn, New York on Wednesday. Before he was sentenced, Guzmán spoke for 15 minutes, describing the US government as ‘corrupt,’ claiming he endured ‘psychological, emotional, and mental torture’ in the Metropolitan Correctional Center’s 10-South wing, which confines prisoners for 23 hours a day. He spoke in Spanish, saying: ‘In order to sleep, I have used plugs made out of toilet paper in my ears. It’s been a lack of respect for human dignity.’ ‘When I was extradited to the US, I expected to receive a fair trial…and where my fame would not be a determining factor in the administration of justice.’
Addressing the judge, Guzmán said: ‘The United Sates is no better than any other corrupt country that you don’t respect.’ Guzmán, the longtime head of the Sinaloa drug cartel in Mexico, is expected to be sent to United States Penitentiary Florence, a SuperMax prison in Colorado, after he previously escaped from prison twice – first, in a laundry cart, then through a tunnel 14 years later. US Attorney Richard Donaghue said: ‘It is a sentence from which there is no escape and no return. His conviction is a victory for the American people who have suffered so long and so much while Guzman made billions pouring poison over our southern border.’ The Colorado prison, known as Alcatraz of the Rockies,’ is widely considered to be the most secure prison in the country. No one has escaped since 1994, according to prison officials.
Martin Horn, professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said: ‘It’s very well designed for its purpose, to hold the most dangerous offenders in the federal prison system.’ ‘In his previous two escapes, Guzman has demonstrated that he may be a greater risk of escaping than pretty much anyone else. That makes ADX Florence an appropriate place for him.’