El Chapo will die in jail after drug lord’s life sentence upheld in US court

Notorious drug lord “El Chapo looks set to die in prison after failing in his bid to overturn his life sentence in a US court.

He was convicted in 2019 on charges of narcotics trafficking, using a firearm in furtherance of drug crimes and participating in a money laundering conspiracy.

As well as his jail sentence he was also fined a staggering $12.7 billion (£9.40 billion).

Witnesses at El Chapo’s 12-week trial told of private submarines packed with drugs, as well as carbon fibre “stealth” aircraft, and even secret tunnels that extended beneath the US border.

The Sinaloa Cartel boss, 64, is now likely to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

El Chapo, real name Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, is currently confined to a 7-by-12-foot concrete cell in ADX Florence in Colorado, America’s most secure federal prison.

He’s currently banned from contacting his wife, Emma Coronel Aispurois, who is also serving a three-year prison term for drug trafficking and money laundering charges.

In a new book about Coronel called Emma And The Other Narco Women, author Anabel Hernandez claims that El Chapo’s marriage to Coronel is not legal because he is still technically married to his first wife, social worker Alejandrina Salazar. The couple have five children together.

  • El Chapo and other notorious cartel leaders 'worked with FBI to rat out rival gangs'

"Legally they are not married,” says Hernandez. "Legally the only wife of El Chapo is Alejandrina Salazar, his first wife. He never gave her a divorce”.

Hernandez says that when he married Coronel on her 18th birthday in July 2007 it wasn’t a true wedding but just a “kind of a ceremony inside the Sinaloa cartel… Emma was not anymore just his lover, she was his formal partner."

Coronel has 10-year-old twin daughters with El Chapo, but the drug lord has a further five children with Ms Salazar and as many as nine kids with various other women, according to Hernandez.

He’s unlikely to see much of any of them unless his legal team can overturn the 2019 sentence. They’re basing their appeal on a claim that some of the jury had secretly followed media coverage of the trial – making the verdict invalid.

But Circuit Judge Jon Newman said the report in Vice News did not constitute “clear, strong, substantial and incontrovertible evidence”

El Chapo’s lawyer Marc Fernich said: “I'm sure Mr. Guzmán will seek Supreme Court review as his next step."

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