Not lengthy after the jury were given the case on Feb. four, Matthew Whitaker, the performing United States legal professional normal, stepped into the court and shook palms with every of the trial prosecutors, wishing them just right good fortune. Over the following a number of days, the jurors, showing to scrutinize the federal government’s proof, requested to be given hundreds of pages of testimony, together with — in an ordinary transfer — the overall testimonies of six other prosecution witnesses.
Mr. Guzmán’s trial, which happened underneath intense media scrutiny and tight safety from bomb-sniffing canines, police snipers and federal marshals with radiation sensors, was once the primary time an American jury heard information about the financing, logistics and bloody historical past of one of the vital drug cartels that experience lengthy pumped large quantities of heroin, cocaine, marijuana and artificial medication like fentanyl into the United States, incomes traffickers billions of bucks.
But regardless of in depth testimony about personal jets stuffed with money, our bodies burned in bonfires and surprising proof that Mr. Guzmán and his males steadily drugged and raped younger ladies, the case additionally printed the operatic, even absurd, nature of cartel tradition. It featured accounts of traffickers taking goal observe with a bazooka, a mariachi enjoying all night time out of doors a prison mobile and a homicide plot involving a cyanide-laced arepa.
At instances, the trial was once so odd it felt like a drug-world telenovela unfolding are living in the court. Last month, one among Mr. Guzmán’s mistresses tearfully proclaimed her love for him at the same time as she testified towards him from the stand. The following day, in what gave the impression of a coordinated display of team spirit, the kingpin and his spouse, Emma Coronel Aispuro, seemed in courtroom in matching crimson velvet smoking jackets.
Toward the tip of the continuing, Alejandro Edda, an actor who performs El Chapo on the Netflix sequence “Narcos: Mexico,” confirmed up on the trial to check Mr. Guzmán. The crime lord flashed an ecstatic smile when advised Mr. Edda had come to peer him.
Although Monday’s conviction dealt a blow to the Sinaloa drug cartel, which Mr. Guzmán, 61, helped to run for many years, the gang continues to function, led in phase through the kingpin’s sons. In 2016 and 2017, the years when Mr. Guzmán was once arrested for a last time and despatched for prosecution to New York, Mexican heroin manufacturing higher through 37 p.c and fentanyl seizures on the southwest border greater than doubled, in keeping with the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The D.E.A., in its most up-to-date evaluate of the drug business, famous that Mr. Guzmán’s group and a emerging energy, the Jalisco New Generation cartel, “remain the greatest criminal drug threat” to the United States.