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Old 12-07-15, 16:04   #1
 
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Hot Druglord El Chapo Sentenced to Life + 30 Years.

Top Drug Lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman Known as Mexico's Osama bin Laden Escapes from Prison for the SECOND Time After Breaking Out Through Secret Mile-Long Tunnel System

  • Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, head of powerful Sinaloa Cartel, is on the run
  • Drugs baron fled through a mile-long underground tunnel under his cell
  • Flights have been cancelled in Mexico as armed police hunt him down
  • Fled another jail in 2001 with help of guards by hiding in a laundry basket
Daily Mail UK, 12 July 2015


A powerful drug lord known as Mexico's Osama bin Laden has escaped from a maximum security jail for the second time - fleeing through an elaborate network of tunnels underneath his cell.



Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, head of the powerful Sinaloa Cartel, is on the run from Altiplano jail, 50 miles outside of Mexico City, security officials said.
Officials said his audacious escape saw him flee through the mile-long tunnel, which led to a building under construction next to the prison.

A huge search operation is underway to find the notorious drugs baron, with flights from nearby Toluca Airport cancelled as police desperately try to hunt him down.

Scroll down for videos






Notorious: Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, head of the powerful Sinaloa Cartel, has escaped from a maximum security prison in Mexico. Pictured: His arrest in 2014





Jail break: El Chapo was last seen entering the showers of the prison, he has not been seen since






Search; Police have set up a perimeter around the prison in an attempt to capture the drug lord with an estimated personal fortune of $1bn



Guzman, 58, was last seen in the shower area of the prison but disappeared at around 9pm last night. The alarm was raised when he did not return to his cell.

The kingpin - whose El Chapo (The Shorty) nickname is a reference to his 5ft 6ins height - runs a drug empire which stretches across North America and into Europe and Australia.

He was captured in February last year after more than a decade on the run and faces federal drug trafficking indictments in the US. He was also on the US Drug Enforcement Administration's most-wanted list.

During his time as a fugitive, Guzman transformed himself from a lowly middleman into arguably the most powerful drug trafficker in the world.


His fortune is estimated at more than $1billion, according to Forbes magazine, which listed him among the 'World's Most Powerful People' and ranked him above the presidents of France and Venezuela.

His cartel has been heavily involved in the bloody drug war that has torn through parts of Mexico for the last decade, taking at least an estimated 100,000 lives.


Drug lord 'El Chapo' Guzman escorted to prison by helicopter
;







Second jail break: The last time Guzman escaped he was smuggled out of prison in a laundry basket






Powerful: Guzman, 58, ran a drug empire which stretches across North America and into Europe and Australia






Guzman's cartel has been heavily involved in the bloody drug war that has torn through parts of Mexico for the last decade



Sinaloa is believed to control most of the major crossing points for drugs at the US border with Mexico.

Guzman was caught by authorities for the first time in Guatemala in 1993, extradited and sentenced to 20 years in prison in Mexico for murder and drug trafficking.

He escaped from another maximum security prison, Puente Grande in western Jalisco state, in 2001 with the help of prison guards.
His audacious escape saw him hide in a laundry cart, but there are several theories as to how he got away.

Guzman is known for his ability to pay off local residents and even authorities who would tip him off to security operations launched for his capture.
He was finally tracked down to a modest beachside high-rise in the Pacific Coast resort city of Mazatlan in 2014, where he had been hiding with his beauty queen wife and twin daughters.

But before they reached him, security forces went on a several-day chase through Culiacan, the capital of his home Sinaloa state, for which the cartel is named. They found houses where Guzman had apparently been staying with steel-enforced doors and elaborate tunnels that allowed him to escape through the sewer system.

Earlier this year, former Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said that sending Guzman to the US, where he is wanted, would save Mexico a lot of money, but keeping him in Mexico was a question of national sovereignty.

He dismissed concerns that Guzman could escape a second time. That risk 'does not exist,' Murillo Karam said. He has since been replaced by Arely Gomez as attorney general.




El Chapo' Guzman being taken into Altiplano prison (archive);








Guzman's (pictured being arrested in 2014) fortune is estimated at more than $1billion, according to Forbes magazine, which listed him among the 'World's Most Powerful People'









Guzman's cartel is responsible for the deaths of thousands in the drugs war that has bloodied Mexico


El Chapo Guzman's network of drug smuggling tunnels;




In 1993, gunmen linked to the Tijuana-based Arrellano Felix cartel attempted to assassinate Guzman at the Guadalajara airport but instead killed Roman Catholic Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo, outraging Mexicans.

He was rumored to have once entered a restaurant in Culiacan, capital of Sinaloa state, where his henchmen confiscated every patron's cellphone so their boss could eat without fear of an ambush. He was also rumored to have staged an elaborate public wedding in 2007 to an 18-year-old bride that was attended by officials and local police.

Federal police say they raided the town that day, but got there just a few hours too late.

Guzman had long been reported to move around frequently, using private aircraft, bulletproof SUVs and even all-terrain vehicles.

His location was part of Mexican folklore, with rumors circulating of him being everywhere from Guatemala to almost every corner of Mexico, especially its 'Golden Triangle,' a mountainous, marijuana-growing region straddling the northern states of Sinaloa, Durango and Chihuahua.

An archbishop in northern Durango state said in April 2009 that Guzman lived in a town nearby. Days later, investigators found the bodies of two slain army lieutenants with a note: 'Neither the government nor priests can handle El Chapo.'

El Chapo' Guzman Taken into Altiplano Prison



Inside El Chapo Guzman's Network of Drug Smuggling Tunnels



Mexican Drug Lord Captured Known For Boiling People In Oil Alive!

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Old 09-01-16, 16:36   #2
 
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Update re: VIDEOs-World's DANGEROUS Drug Lord's Physical & Mental Torture By Guards

How El Chapo's Narcissism Led to His Capture: Fugitive Drug Lord Was Nabbed After Contacting Actors To Make Narcos-Style BIOPIC About His Rags-to-Riches Life...> As He Returns To Jail He Escaped From
  • Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman Loera was apprehended in a pre-dawn raid on a motel in Los Mochis, Mexico
  • He was tracked down after he contacted producers and actors to make a Narcos-style biopic of his own life
  • Hideout was around 1,300 miles from the jail he escaped from in July last year after fleeing through a tunnel
  • El Chapo escaped from police through a sewer but was caught and arrested still wearing filthy tank top he fled in
  • Five cartel gangsters were killed and six others arrested in the raid, which also left a Mexican marine injured
  • Vast arsenal of weapons including rocket launchers, machine guns and armored vehicles was seized
  • US drug enforcement officials and US Marshals helped capture El Chapo and his right-hand man El Cholo
  • The drug lord had been on the run since July, when he staged a daring escape from Mexico's most secure prison
  • Incredibly, he was sent back to Altiplano jail overnight after being bundled into a helicopter by Mexican soldiers
  • El Chapo is also wanted in the U.S. for several drug trafficking charges but it is not clear if he will be extradited
Daily Mail UK, 9 January 2016




Notorious drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman has been sent back to the same prison he escaped from six months ago. Despite tunneling out of the maximum security facility in July, Mexican marines were set to drop off the cartel leader at the Altiplano jail overnight.

Three soldiers marched El Chapo (left and center), who was wearing a navy blue shirt and blue Adidas sweatpants, from a military vehicle to the Mexican attorney general's hangar at an airbase in New Mexico.

Mexican marines, with their faces covered, then bundled him into a helicopter (right) and set off towards the prison near Toluca.

El Chapo, which means 'the short one' in Spanish, was captured by marines during a raid in the town of Los Mochis, located in the kingpin's home state of Sinaloa, on Friday.


Notorious drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman has finally been recaptured and returned to the same maximum security jail he broke out from six months ago after authorities were tipped off to his whereabouts when he tried to make a film of his own life, according to Mexico's attorney general.

The cartel leader's narcissism appears to have been his downfall after he began the process of making a biopic, similar to that of Netflix's popular Narcos show on the life of infamous Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, following his escape from the Altiplano jail last July.

El Chapo, which means 'the short one' in Spanish, had even started to contact producers and actresses through intermediaries to tell his 'rags to riches' story, which was what finally helped police track him down. The names of the stars he approached have not yet been confirmed.

He was arrested on Friday after a 4am raid on a house in the town of Los Mochis, located in the kingpin's home state of Sinaloa, which saw him once again escape from the clutches of police.

The cartel leader and an accomplice fled from agents through a filthy sewer, before emerging into the street where they stole cars and took off. But authorities were able to catch up with them and the cartel leader was brought back to a nearby hotel while police waited for back up, Gómez said.

In a picture of his arrest at the hotel, El Chapo is stood still wearing the dirty tank top, which showed off several fresh scratches on his arms after his sewer escape.

Despite tunneling out in July, Mexican marines returned him to the Altiplano jail - considered to be the most secure prison in the entire country - earlier today. Until El Chapo, no-one had ever successfully escaped from the facility.

Washington, which requested his extradition last June before his escape from jail, is almost certain to seek extradition since his recapture. The drugs lord faces at least seven indictments in the United States.





Notorious drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman has been sent back to the same prison he escaped from six months ago. Pictured, soldiers - showing their faces in full sight - march the drug lord to the Mexican attorney general's hangar at an air base in New Mexico





Despite tunneling out of the maximum security facility in July, Mexican marines were set to drop off the cartel leader at the Altiplano jail overnight








Got him! Notorious drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman Loera has been recaptured six months since he escaped from Mexico's most secure prison





El Chapo showed little emotion as he was dragged across the runway in front of dozens of Press and government officials








The drug kingpin, who was wearing a blue tracksuit, was marched into the Mexican attorney general's office before being taken to jail





El Chapo was escorted into a helicopter by Mexican marines - who had their faces covered - who will take him to the prison he escaped from back in July 2015








A handcuffed El Chapo was led into the helicopter by marines as he was taken back to jail after six months on the run from the law





Journalists took pictures of the captured drug lord as he was paraded at a federal air base near New Mexico on Friday evening





Military action: El Chapo was apprehended in an early morning raid in the town of Los Mochis, in the drug kingpin's home state of Sinaloa and 1,300 miles away from the jail he escaped from


Five cartel gangsters were killed and another six were arrested in the raid, while one Mexican marine sustained non-life-threatening injuries. A vast arsenal of weapons was seized, including rocket launchers, machine guns and armored vehicles.

The raid also ended in the capture of El Chapo's right-hand man 'El Cholo', a hitman who was also on the run from the law.


El Chapo was later marched from a military vehicle by three soldiers - showing their faces in full sight - to the Mexican attorney general's hangar at an airbase in New Mexico.

After being briefly paraded in front of journalists, El Chapo was bundled into a helicopter by Mexican marines - who had their faces covered - and set off towards the prison near Toluca.

Attorney general Arely Gómez said that the vain drugs lord was caught after he tried to make a biopic of his life, similar to that of Netflix's popular Narcos show, based on the life of slain Colombian kingpin Pablo Escobar.

'He established communication with actors and producers, which formed a new line of investigation,' Gómez said. She refused to confirm which stars had been approached for the film.

El Chapo may have fancied himself as Mexico's answer to the infamous, Colombian drugs lord who became one of the most powerful and violent criminals of all time.

Escobar's Medellin Cartel came to control more than 80 per cent of the cocaine shipped to the U.S. by the 1980s until he was finally killed in 1993.

The first of a series of four films based on El Chapo's life, called The Great Escape, was due to be released on January 15. But the millionaire may have been wanting to tell his life story in his own words before he was recaptured.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto wrote on his Twitter account on Friday: 'Mission accomplished: We have him.'








Arrest: El Chapo was apprehended while he was staying in the relatively isolated Hotel & Suites Doux in the town of Los Mochis in the state of Sinaloa





El Chapo was escorted to a SUV with a white towel over his head before being taken to an airport - but his destination is not known





Covered: Officials covered El Chapo's head with a white towel as they escorted him onto a small plane after his arrest Friday morning






Mexican officials revealed that a firefight at a house in Los Mochis earlier on Friday was related to the raid that saw fugitive El Chapo recaptured.

He is believed to have fled under the cover of gunfire from his henchmen before being arrested later at a motel alongside his most-trusted bodyguard.

In a picture of his arrest, El Chapo stands in a bedroom, where a photo of a scantily-clad woman hangs in the background - his hands shackled in handcuffs in front of him as he stares off to the side of the camera, still wearing the grey, filthy tank top he was caught fleeing in.

Online, many have mocked his appearance as a far cry from the multi-millionaire's glamorous lifestyle.
One commenter even tweeted: 'All that drug money and he hasn't got a clean vest to go out in?'

In the other photo, he sits in a car with his right-hand man, with his hand held up to his chin in thought.
The man seen slumped alongside el Chapo in the back of the police van is his chief hitman Orso Iván Gastélum Cruz, known as 'El Cholo' - a nickname commonly used to refer to young people in Mexican gangs.
LIke El Chapo he too was on the run, having escaped from prison in 2009.

His girlfriend, the winner of Miss Sinaloa 2012 was gunned down and killed by the army during a manhunt for him in 2012.

The Mexican Navy said in a statement that marines acting on a tip raided a motel in the town of Los Mochis around 4:30am. They were fired on from inside the structure.





Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman has been returned to Almoloya de Juarez, Mexico's maximum security prison which was considered to be most secure in the country until his escape last July





El Chapo had tunnelled out of his cell in the shower area (pictured) - one of the few places which is not covered by CCTV at the jail





The drugs lord used an adapted motorcycle, which sits on a rail in an underground tunnel, to make his escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison





Authorities discovered the motorcycle, rigged on a special rail system with two metal carts in front of it, which he used to flee through a 1.5-kilometer (one-mile) long tunnel under the shower space of his prison cell





Accomplice: El Chapo's hitman Orso Iván Gastélum Cruz, known as 'El Cholo', after he was taken into custody following the shootout






Dead: Forensics officers carried a body out of the house where five of El Chapo's henchmen were shot dead during the raid on Friday


A Mexican law enforcement official said authorities located El Chapo several days ago, based on reports that he was in Los Mochis, which is 1,300 miles north west of the high security Altiplano prison he escaped from. The official says authorities even searched storm drains in the coastal city.
At an afternoon press conference, the Mexican president announced El Chapo's arrest and thanked those who spent months tracking down the criminal.

'Today, Mexico confirms that its institutions have the capabilities that are necessary to face and overcome anyone who threatens the tranquility of Mexican families,' Nieto said.
El Chapo's arrest 'demonstrates that when Mexicans work together, there is no adversity that can not be overcome', he added.

Nieto had earlier tweeted: 'My appreciation to the Security Cabinet of the Government of the Republic for this important achievement for the rule of law in Mexico.'

At the hideout, marines seized two armored vehicles, eight rifles, one handgun and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.
Photos of the arms seized suggested that Guzman and his associates had a fearsome arsenal at the non-descript white building in which he was hiding.

Two of the rifles seized were .50-caliber sniper guns, capable of penetrating most bullet-proof vests and cars. The grenade launcher was found loaded, with an extra round nearby. And an assault rifle had a .40 mm grenade launcher, and at least one grenade.


Quote:
'THE KING OF COCAINE': THE RUTHLESS DRUGS LORD PABLO ESCOBAR WHO INSPIRED NETFLIX SHOW NARCOS

Born in 1949, Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria started his criminal career on the streets of Medellin in Colombia as a teenager, selling contraband cigarettes and stealing cars.
When he was gunned down by Colombian National Police on December 2 1993 he was one of the wealthiest criminals in history, worth a staggering $30billion.

After working for a short time as a bodyguard in the early 1970s Escobar moved on to cocaine trafficking. His operation became so successful that he was able to buy 15 planes and six helicopters to help smuggle the drugs, mainly to the United States.








Notorious: Pablo Escobar's Medellin Cartel came to control more than 80 per cent of the cocaine shipped to the U.S. by the 1980s until he was finally killed in 1993





Escobar's life inspired the hit Netflix show Narcos, which stars Wagna Moura as the infamous Colombian drugs lord


Escobar amassed so much cash that he had to spend around $2500 a month on rubber bands to keep the piles of notes neatly stacked.


His Medellin Cartel inevitably attracted the attention of the authorities, but Escobar dealt with them mercilessly. He either bribed them or had them assassinated, which is where the likes of John Jairo Velasquez came in.

Escobar was eventually gunned down in 1993 by Colombian police, who found him in a middle-class home in Medellin, after a 15-month-long investigation.
He was shot while trying to escape across nearby roofs with his bodyguard, Alvaro de Jesus Agudelo, who was also shot and killed.

His life inspired the hit Netflix show Narcos tells the true story of the growth and spread of Escobar's cocaine drug cartels across the globe and the brutal and often bloody efforts to halt them, starring Wagner Moura as the kingpin and Steve Murphy (Holbrook), as a DEA agent sent to Colombia on a U.S. mission to capture and ultimately kill him.




Magazine: At the building marines seized two armored vehicles, eight rifles, one handgun and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher





Above, a view of a street in Los Mochis in the aftermath of the predawn shootout with Mexican marines





Man holes are opened in the Los Mochis street near where El Chapo was captured on Friday after he fled down a sewer





From the air: Helicopter circle around the neighborhood where El Chapo was taken into custody on Friday. El Chapo has a lot of supporters in his home state of Sinaloa





Lookout: Members of the Mexican military stand guard near the building where El Chapo was taken into custody on Friday


A Twitter account that has previously been linked to El Chapo, which uses the handle @ElChap0Guzman, posted two tweets two days before the drug lord's capture.
The first, translated from Mexican, said he was 'busy and happy' and enjoying life with his children. A second said he loved his family and valued people who loved them, but that 'everyone else can go f*** their mothers'.

Guzman faces multiple federal drug trafficking indictments in the U.S. as well as Mexico, and was on the DEA's most-wanted list.
The DEA says it was 'extremely pleased' with El Chapo's recapture. On its Twitter account, the agency congratulated Mexico's government on catching Guzman, saying it saluted 'the bravery involved in his capture'.

After Guzman was arrested on February 22, 2014, the U.S. said it would file an extradition request, though it's not clear if that happened.

The Mexican government at the time vehemently denied the need to extradite Guzman, even as many expressed fears he would escape as he did in 2001 while serving a 20-year sentence in the country's other top-security prison, Puente Grande, in the western state of Jalisco.

It is unclear if the Mexican government will extradite El Chapo, given his most recent escape. El Chapo is wanted in the states of Arizona, California, Texas, Illinois, New York and Florida.

He is the first 'public enemy number one' since Al Capone in Chicago, where authorities have demanded he is handed over to the US.
J. R. Davis, president of the Chicago Crime Commission, said: 'The two escapes by Guzman demonstrate that even the most 'high security' Mexican prisons are not equipped to hold Guzman.'

The Justice Department had no immediate comment on whether it will push for extradition.
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch called El Chapo's recapture 'a victory for the citizens of both Mexico and the United States, and a vindication of the rule of law in our countries'.
In a statement, Lynch said Guzman 'will now have to answer for his alleged crimes' and congratulated Mexico's government, but did not directly address the sticky issue of extradition.


Quote:
HITMAN 'EL CHOLO' WAS ALSO ON THE RUN AND HIS BEAUTY QUEEN GIRLFRIEND WAS KILLED DURING 2012 MANHUNT

El Chapo was detained alongside his right-hand man El Cholo, a notorious hitman who was also on the run from jail.
The drug lord's number two escaped from prison on 2009 and had been in hiding since, and it is likely he was aware of - or was even involved in - his boss's daring escape last year.

El Cholo's real name is Orso Iván Gastélum Cruz and his nickname is commonly used to refer to young people in Mexican gangs.
His former girlfriend Maria Susana Flores Gamez, a 20-year-old Mexican beauty queen, was killed in a raid by the Mexican army in 2012 - the same year she won Miss Sinaloa.
She was in the company of dangerous drug traffickers when she died and her body was found laying next to an assault rifle.








El Cholo - El Chapo's right-hand man - was captured alongside the drug lord. The hitman's beauty queen girlfriend Maria Susana Flores Gamez (top) was killed in a raid by the Mexican army in 2012








Gamez, 20, was in the company of dangerous drug traffickers when she died and her body was found laying next to an assault rifle

Altiplano, considered the most secure of Mexico's federal prisons, also houses Zetas drug cartel leader Miguel Angel Trevino, and Edgar Valdes Villarreal, known as 'La Barbie,' of the Beltran Leyva cartel.
Guzman dropped by ladder into a hole 30ft deep that connected with another 5ft-high tunnel, which was fully ventilated and had lighting.





Rich man: El Chapo's fortune was once estimated at $1billion. Above, a mugshot taken after El Chapo's last capture and imprisonment


Authorities also found tools, oxygen tanks and a motorcycle adapted to run on rails that they believe was used to carry dirt out and tools in during the construction.
The tunnel terminated in a half-built house in a farm field.

Guzman's cartel is known for building elaborate tunnels beneath the Mexico-U.S. border to transport cocaine, methamphetamines and marijuana, with ventilation, lighting and even railcars to easily move products.

Since El Chapo broke out of jail in July, Mexican police and military have been desperately tracking the cartel boss.
In September, authorities thought El Chapo escaped the country to Costa Rica, after one of his sons posted a photo to Twitter tagging their location in the Central American country. But authorities were unsuccessful in finding him.
The next month, marines tracked El Chapo down to a mountainous region in Sinaloa.

Soldiers engaged in a shootout with El Chapo and his cartel thugs, and he got away yet again.
However, at the time it was reported that El Chapo appeared to have broken his leg fleeing from authorities.
This is the second time that El Chapo has been recaptured after using his influence to break out of prison.

He was first caught by authorities in Guatemala in 1993, extradited and sentenced to 20 years in prison on drug-trafficking-related charges.
He is believed to have escaped in 2001 in a laundry cart, although there have been several versions of how he got away. What is clear is that he had help from prison guards, who were prosecuted and convicted.

During his first stint as a fugitive, Guzman transformed himself into arguably the most powerful drug trafficker in the world. His fortune was estimated at more than $1billion, according to Forbes magazine, which listed him among the 'World's Most Powerful People,' ranked above the presidents of France and Venezuela.

He was finally tracked down to a modest beachside high-rise in the Pacific Coast resort city of Mazatlan, where he had been hiding with his wife and twin daughters.
He was captured in the early morning of February 22, 2014, without a shot being fired.





Head down: El Chapo pictured above in February 2014, when he was captured the last time he broke out of jail


Before they reached him, security forces went on a several-day chase through Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state. They found houses where Guzman supposedly had been staying with steel-enforced doors and the same kind of lighted, ventilated escape tunnels.

Born 58 years ago, according to Interpol, he and his allies took control of the Sinaloa faction when a larger syndicate began to fall apart in 1989.

Even after his 2014 capture, Guzman's Sinaloa Cartel empire continues to stretch throughout North America and reaches as far as Europe and Australia.
The cartel has been heavily involved in the bloody drug war that has torn through parts of Mexico for the last decade, taking an estimated 100,000 lives or more.



Quote:
HOW DID HE DO IT LAST TIME? JOAQUIN 'EL CHAPO' GUZMAN'S GREAT ESCAPE FROM PRISON IN JULY 2015

The billionaire leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel began his escape at 8.52pm on Saturday, when he entered the showers at the Altiplano maximum-security prison, 50 miles outside of Mexico City.
The drug kingpin prised open a 50cm by 50cm grill in the shower floor, and climbed down a 32ft shaft into the complex tunnel system that his henchmen had spent the last year digging underneath the feet of the prison guards.

Inside the tunnel was electric lighting, a ventilation system and a motorbike waiting to carry him to freedom.
The 0.9mile tunnel led directly from underneath the prison showers to the Santa Juana construction site, just outside of the prison perimeters.

Waiting for him here was a ramshackle building, with just two bedrooms, a cellar, and a change of clothes for the crime lord.





Prison break: A motorcycle adapted to a rail sits in the tunnel under the half-built house where El Chapo made his escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison in July




Slipped away: A composite handout picture taken from a video shows the escape of El Chapo through the tunnel



And El Chapo had everything he needed to disappear into the Mexican countryside once again, for the second time in 15 years.
But the plan took incredibly detailed, exact planning from the group of four highly-skilled engineers, trusted with the liberation of their leader.
They had acquired blueprints of the prison, and worked a gruelling 10 hour a day schedule for almost an entire year before the tunnel was complete.

The tunnel was no small feat of engineering. It was 0.9miles long, 5ft6in high, and 2ft3in wide.
Overall, the team had to shift more than 3,250 tonnes of earth from under the very noses of the prison officials.
The operation would have required 379 dump trucks in total, carrying tens of thousands of bags of earth.
But incredibly, nothing was ever reported.

A couple who live next to the end of El Chapo's escape tunnel have revealed how a mysterious neighbour who called himself 'El Pastor' moved into the area six months ago and claimed he was building a house.

Lorenzo Esquivel and Maria Esther Salgado, live a mile from the Altiplano jail in the town of Almoloya de Juarez.
The couple told how the man moved into the grey, brink building at the start of this year, before embarking on a series of building works.

They said the man – who they described as tall, portly and in his 50s – would often ferry material to and from the site in his red 4x4 and a white pick-up truck.
The man introduced himself as El Pastor – meaning the Shepherd – the couple told MailOnline.

'He definitely wasn't from around here but he was always very friendly,' they said.
'He told us he was building a new house on the property but we never saw any exterior changes.'

On Saturday, the day El Chapo made his escape, the couple described seeing two 'very luxury black 4x4s' also arrive at the property.
They saw the cars drive away again the following morning, along with El Pastor's two vehicles.

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Old 20-02-16, 18:11   #3
 
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Update re: VIDEOs-World's DANGEROUS Drug Lord's Physical & Mental Torture By Guards

Beauty-Queen Wife of El Chapo Says She Fears for Her Husband's Life in Jail
>Where He is Being 'Punished' by Prison Guards

  • Emma Coronel Aispuro said Altiplano jail guards are 'punishing' El Chapo
  • Said he is constantly watched by guards, even while using the bathroom
  • Aispuro fears he is not eating well and is not being allowed to sleep
  • El Chapo said this week that he is turning into a 'zombie' because guards will not let him to sleep for more than two hours at a time
  • He is waiting to find out if he will be extradited to the U.S. on drugs charges
Daily Mail UK, 20 February 2016




Emma Coronel Aispuro, who married El Chapo in 2007 when she was 18 (left) and he was 47, says guards at the Altiplano jail near Mexico City are 'punishing' her husband for his previous escape. Aispuro complained that guards are watching El Chapo (in his cell, right) all day and will not give him privacy, even to go to the bathroom.

She also fears he is not eating well, and is not being allowed to sleep after the Sinaloa Cartel boss complained to his lawyers that guards have been waking him up every two hours. El Chapo, real name Joaquin Guzman, said he is being subjected to 'physical and mental torture'.

The third wife of cartel kingpin Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman says she fears for his life in jail after reports of harsh treatment at the hands of prison guards.


Emma Coronel Aispuro, who married El Chapo in 2007 when she was 18 and he was 47, said guards at Altiplano jail where the Sinaloa cartel boss is being kept are punishing him for escaping.

Aispuro said: 'They say they are not punishing him, of course they are. They are with him all day, watching him in his cell.





Emma Coronel Aispuro





Aispuro complained that the Sinaloa Cartel boss is constantly watched by guards and is not allowed any privacy, even while using the bathroom


'They are there every hour, they will not let him sleep and give him no privacy, even to go to the bathroom. I think every person has the right to have at least the vital things that make them human.'

Addressing El Chapo directly, she added: 'I fear for your life, I do not know if you are eating well. In general, we do not know what the situation is because we have not been allowed to seen him.

Her comments came days after it was reported that El Chapo is being turned into a 'zombie' by prison guards who will not let him sleep for more than two hours at a time.The drug baron's lawyer, Juan Pablo Badillo, said that El Chapo feels he is the victim of 'physical and mental torture'.





Aispuro, a former beauty queen, also says she is worried her husband is not eating well and is being 'punished' for his previous escape


El Chapo allegedly told Mr Badillo: 'They are turning me into a zombie, they won't let me sleep, now there is nothing else I want but for them to let me sleep.'

The drugs lord had been serving a sentence at the prison when he escaped in July 2015 through a 1.2-mile tunnel which his cartel members dug from nearby land.

With suspected help from the inside, he managed to climb through the bottom of his shower where there happened to be a blind spot in the cell.


He was recaptured last month after seven months on the run.
The authorities took him back to the maximum security jail the Altiplano prison in central Mexico while he waits to see if he will be extradited to the U.S. on drug trafficking charges.

However, since his recapture, the authorities are taking no chances of him escaping again.
The jail has reportedly installed 400 new cameras and they hope to add another 600 to that by April.

According to local media reports, motion sensors also sense his every move, dogs have been trained to detect his scent, steel rods reinforce the floor and metal detectors stand outside the door.

But according to his lawyer, what most concerns him is lack of sleep.
Mr Badillo added: 'He describes it as a brutal torture, it is similar to what they did to Stalin in the 40s and 50s in Russia.'

Mexican officials have said their main concern is making sure Guzman does not escape again before his extradition to the United States to face charges there.

Last week, it was reported that he was willing to plead guilty in the United States - as long as he is not jailed in a maximum-security prison.

The Sinaloa cartel leader believes he would enjoy better treatment in an American cell compared to the 'extreme freezing conditions' of his current Mexican lock-up where he 'fears for his life'.

However, he will only plead guilty if US prosecutors promise to spare him from its most brutal institutions 'where he would not see the light of the sun for more than an hour a day'.





Earlier this week El Chapo said he is being turned into a 'zombie' by guards who will not let him sleep for more than two hours at a time (pictured being recaptured in January this year)





El Chapo has told his lawyer Juan Pablo Badillo, pictured, that he is the victim of 'physical and mental torture'


Another lawyer José Refugio Rodríguez told Univision earlier this month:

'I fear for his life.
'If anyone is subjected to such cold temperatures - so cold, extremely cold - they could get very sick.
'We are going to work the extradition so that the United States doesn't find a man on his knees, begging for help.

But Mr Badillo added he did not have much time to talk about possible extradition to the U.S. with El Chapo during a prison visit on Monday.

The lawyer told CNN El Chapo said:

'"We have to talk about it. But I want to be judged by Mexican laws."
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Old 25-04-17, 14:30   #4
 
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Update re: El Chapo TRIAL >He Paid $100m Bribe to Mexican President Peña Nieto

Wheelie Pumped Up! El Chapo is 'Furious Because He Can't Watch TV While He Exercises in Prison Gym' and When He Can See the Screen it Only Streams One Movie and a Show About a Rhino

  • Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman is currently at Metropolitan Penitentiary in NYC
  • His lawyers allegedly state that he's frustrated by his inability to watch television while he exercises on the stationary bike at the facility
  • He is also reportedly displeased with his channel choices, which only include a nature show about a rhinoceros and one movie that consistently plays
Daily Mail UK, 25 April 2017...


Drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman, better known as El Chapo, is frustrated that he is unable to see a TV screen while he works out behind bars.
New court documents reveal that Guzman is frustrated that there is no television screen in front of his stationary bike for him to watch while he works out at Metropolitan Penitentiary in Manhattan - the only screen is located behind the bike.
And he is further annoyed that the TV only plays one movie and a nature show about a rhinoceros.









New court documents reveal that Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman is frustrated with the fact that the Metropolitan Penitentiary in Manhattan doesn't allow him to watch television while he exercises



Guzman's attorneys previously argued for his right to have a television in the exercise room, but the drug lord is still dissatisfied, documents obtained allege.
Now, they are lobbying to have Amnesty International investigate his living conditions at the New York City prison.

When he appeared in a Brooklyn court in February, his lawyers said the jail conditions imposed on the convicted leader of the Sinaloa cartel were too harsh.

He has escaped maximum security prisons twice in his home country of Mexico.






He was extradited to the United States on the eve of Donald Trump's election


Lawyers say that he's held on 23-hour lockdown, isn't allowed visits with his 27-year-old beauty queen wife or Mexican lawyer, and has even been denied water by his jailers on occasion.

Guzman has been held at the Pearl Street jail in New York since mid-January, where he arrived to female inmates chanting his name.
He was extradited to the United States on the eve of Donald Trump's election.


El Chapo No Mas Rhino! Demands Prison TV Change


TMZ, 18/4/2017 6:05 PM PDT


He's got one question for NY prison officials -- can't a Mexican drug lord stay in shape while watching some quality TV? So far, he says the answer is no.


Chapo's attorneys filed new docs, obtained by TMZ, with fresh complaints about his life inside the Metropolitan Correctional Center. The lawyers say they successfully fought to get Chapo access to a TV inside the recreation room ... apparently, he's a freak for the stationary bicycle.

According to the docs, Chapo's problem is the TV was installed behind the bike -- so when he's burning calories he can only hear the programming. Which is another issue, Chapo says he has no control when it comes to channel surfing. He says the only thing that's ever on is a nature show about a rhino, and another movie that's played over and over and over.

The attorneys say poor Chapo could choose to stand and watch TV during his hour of rec time, but then he wouldn't be able to exercise.
They're demanding Amnesty International be allowed access to inspect his living conditions.





He is due back in court again on 5 May 2017.

.
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Old 16-01-19, 06:32   #5
 
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Hot re: El Chapo TRIAL >He Paid $100m Bribe to Mexican President Peña Nieto

Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán's Trial: Nine Crazy Moments

El Chapo 'Paid $100m Bribe to Former Mexican President Peña Nieto'


BBC 16 JAN 2019.





.
Former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto accepted a $100m (£77m) bribe from drug cartel kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, a witness has testified.


Alex Cifuentes, who says he was a close associate of Guzman for years, told a New York City courtroom that he had told authorities of the bribe in 2016.

Guzman is accused of being behind the Sinaloa drug cartel, which prosecutors say was the largest US drug supplier.

Mr Peña Nieto served as the president of Mexico from 2012 to 2018.


Mr Guzman, 61, has been on trial in Brooklyn since November after he was extradited from Mexico to face charges of trafficking cocaine, heroin and other drugs as leader of what the US has called the world's largest drug cartel.

According to reporters in the Brooklyn courthouse, Mr Peña Nieto had requested $250m before settling on $100m.

Cifuentes claimed the delivery was made to Mexico City in October 2012 by a friend of El Chapo.


Cifuentes, a Colombian drug lord who has described himself as El Chapo's "right-hand man", worked as his secretary and spent two years hiding from authorities with him in the Mexican mountains, according to prosecutors.

He was arrested in Mexico in 2013 and was later extradited to the United States where he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking in a deal with prosecutors.

Mr Peña Nieto has not responded to the latest claim, but has previously rejected allegations of corruption that have surfaced during the trial since it began in November.


A High-Stakes Case


Analysis by Tara McKelvey, BBC News, Brooklyn


The trial in the Federal District Court in Brooklyn is a security circus - with guards everywhere and metal detectors set up in different areas of the building, leading to the courtroom on the eighth floor.


Outside of the building, part of the street is blocked off. The trial itself has offered macabre details about assassinations carried out by drug traffickers and stunning allegations about state officials.

After the a former top lieutenant for El Chapo testified of an alleged bribe to the former Mexican president, reporters rushed out of the courtroom, heading to file their stories.

It's hard to know what to believe when former drug traffickers testify, but one thing is clear: the tight security makes sense in a place where the stakes are so high.

Mr Guzman's lawyer, Jeffrey Lichtman, has argued that the real leader of the Sinaloa cartel is Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada.

He claims Mr Zambada has survived prosecution by bribing the "entire" Mexican government, including Mr Peña Nieto and former president Felipe Calderóne.


President Peña Nieto and Mr Calderón immediately rejected the accusation, with the latter calling it "absolutely false and reckless".

In November another cartel member testified that an aide to current Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was allegedly paid a bribe in 2005.

Cifuentes testified earlier on Friday that El Chapo had ordered a $10m bribe be paid to a general, but later decided to have him killed instead. The hit was never carried out.
END.

READ MORE; .
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Old 12-02-19, 20:19   #6
 
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Breaking News re: El Chapo's 90yr Old Drug MuleTRUE STORY>Clint Eastwood Movie Made $Mills From It

El Chapo Trial: Mexican Cartel Boss Found GUILTY of all Counts in Drug Trafficking Trial - & Will be Sentenced on 25 June 2019

A US jury reached a verdict today after almost three months of testimony and more than a week of deliberations

Mirror UK, 12 FEB 2019.




Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman > GUILTY....


Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman - who rose to fame as Mexico's most feared drug kingpin - has been found guilty in his drug-trafficking trial.

A US jury reached a verdict in the high-profile trial today after almost three months of testimony and more than a week of deliberations.

Guzman was charged with 10 criminal counts, including drug trafficking and engaging in a criminal enterprise as leader of Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel.

He was found guilty of all these charges and now faces life behind bars.


The 61-year-old rose from poverty in rural Mexico to run a global drug empire and amass billions of dollars operating a criminal enterprise.

Jurors began deliberating in federal court in Brooklyn on February 4.

The lack of a verdict in the first week seemed to please Guzman, who grinned and hugged one of his lawyers before he was led out of the courtroom.





El Chapo after his arrest in 2017 (Image: AFP/Getty Images)


He was accused of trafficking tons of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine into the United States as leader of the cartel, named for his home state in northwestern Mexico.

Guzman escaped twice from maximum-security Mexican prisons before his final capture in January 2016. He was extradited to the United States a year later. Small in stature, Guzman's nickname means "Shorty."

Although other high-ranking cartel figures had been extradited previously, Guzman was the first to go to trial instead of pleading guilty.

His defense has argued that Guzman was set up as a "fall guy" by Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada, a drug kingpin from Sinaloa who remains at large.

Prosecutors claimed Guzman and Zambada were partners.




Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin Guzman Loera aka "el Chapo Guzman" is escorted by marines (Image: AFP/Getty Images)


More than 50 witnesses testified during the 11-week trial, including 14 former associates of Guzman who had agreed to cooperate with U.S. prosecutors.

The cooperators, most of whom had pleaded guilty to U.S. drug charges, offered detailed accounts of the Sinaloa Cartel's inner workings and Guzman's purported role as boss, describing his lavish lifestyle and penchant for murdering his enemies.

In a series of notes last week, the jury sought answers to legal questions and asked to review days of testimony from several of the cooperators.

The trial offered the public an unprecedented look at the inner workings of the Sinaloa Cartel, named for the state in northwestern Mexico where Guzman was born in a poor mountain village.

The most detailed evidence against Guzman came from more than a dozen former associates who struck deals to cooperate with U.S. prosecutors.




The 61-year-old rose from poverty in rural Mexico to run a global drug empire...



Through them, jurors heard how the Sinaloa Cartel gained power amid the shifting allegiances of the Mexican drug trade in the 1990s, eventually coming to control almost the entire Pacific coast of Mexico.

They heard how Guzman made a name for himself in the 1980s as "El Rapido," the speedy one, by building cross-border tunnels that allowed him to move cocaine from Mexico into the United States faster than anyone else.

The witnesses, who included some of Guzman's top lieutenants, a communications engineer and a onetime mistress, described how he built a sophisticated organisation reminiscent of a multinational corporation, with fleets of planes and boats, detailed accounting ledgers and an encrypted electronic communication system run through secret computer servers in Canada.

A former bodyguard testified that he watched Guzman kill three rival drug cartel members, including one victim who he shot and then ordered to be buried even as he was still gasping for air.





Drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is seen with a handgun on display during a testimony by Drug Enforcement Agency (Image: REUTERS)



Estimates of how much money Guzman made from drugs vary. In 2009, Forbes Magazine put him on its list of the world's richest people, with an estimated $1 billion.

It later dropped him from the list, saying it was too difficult to quantify his assets.

The U.S. Justice Department said in 2017 it sought forfeiture of more than $14 billion in drug proceeds and illicit profits from Guzman.

The trial also featured extensive testimony about corruption in Mexico, most of it involving bribes to law enforcement, military and local government officials so the cartel could carry out its day-to-day drug shipping operations undisturbed.

The most shocking allegation came from Guzman's former top aide Alex Cifuentes, who accused former Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto of taking a $100 million bribe from Guzman.

A spokesman for the ex-president has denied the claim.




El Chapo was recaptured in 2016 after being on the run for six month following a jail break (Image: AFP/Getty Images)


In one of the trial's final days, Guzman told the judge he would not testify in his own defense.

The same day, he grinned broadly at audience member Alejandro Edda, the Mexican actor who plays Guzman in the drama "Narcos."


Despite his ties to government officials, Guzman often lived on the run. Imprisoned in Mexico in 1993, he escaped in 2001 hidden in a laundry cart and spent the following years moving from one hideout to another in the mountains of Sinaloa, guarded by a private army.

He was seized and imprisoned again in 2014, but pulled off his best known escape the following year when he disappeared into a tunnel dug into his cell in a maximum security prison.

But the Mexican government says he blew his cover through a series of slip ups, including an attempt to make a movie about his life.


He was finally recaptured in January 2016 following a shootout in Sinaloa.

Does Taking Down 'el Chapo' Mean Less Drugs on the Streets? - BBC Newsnight

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Old 09-04-19, 22:47   #7
 
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Movies re: Druglord El Chapo Sentenced to Life + 30 Years.

Clint Eastwood Has Made a Movie About The TRUE Story of El Chapo's 90yr Old Drug Mule > Called " The Mule"
The Mule (2018)


The FULL True Story Behind ‘The Mule’: (Leo Sharp). The Sinaloa Cartel’s 90-Year-Old Drug Mule


Originally Posted By Sam Dolnick in The New York Times Magazine on 11 June, 2014






Leo Sharp, Ex US Vet & El Chapo's 90yr Old Drug Mule.




Sharp during his service in the Army, about 1945.



The Lincoln pickup truck with Iowa plates was hurtling down Interstate 94, headed for Detroit. A dozen D.E.A. officers in unmarked cars were scattered along a 70-mile stretch, from Kalamazoo to Jackson, Mich. From on-ramps and overpasses, they watched traffic flash by as they tried to spot the truck. They believed it was carrying a major shipment of cocaine.

Special Agent Jeff Moore and his team in the Detroit field division had spent months investigating a local branch of the Sinaloa cartel, the world’s most notorious and powerful drug-trafficking ring, led by Joaquín Guzmán, known as El Chapo. With a sprawling network of distributors, couriers, wholesalers and street dealers, the organization had pumped thousands of kilos of cocaine from the Mexican border through Arizona safe houses and into Detroit. It was by every measure the biggest cocaine operation Detroit authorities had ever seen. In previous years, a significant bust might be a dozen kilos; now the cartel was bringing in 200 kilos a month.

Moore’s colleagues had wiretapped 11 phones and had spent so many hours listening to the drug traffickers’ coded Spanish conversations that they knew all the leadership’s tics: The wholesaler called Juanito had a goofy, childlike giggle; the courier called Tata was sometimes the butt of their jokes. The cartel exclusively used nicknames; in most cases, its members didn’t even know one another’s real names — they were simply Gordito, Primo, Cuatro, Viejo.

The organization worked with Detroit’s biggest drug dealers, people like Antonio (Pancho) Simmons, a fearsome, one-legged man with a long criminal record. But in some ways, it was the couriers driving across the country’s highways, their cars’ hidden compartments packed with kilos of drugs, who played the most crucial role. And no courier had been more prolific than Tata, the one driving the Lincoln pickup on Oct. 21, 2011. Tata had become a one-man cocaine fountain, working on a scale the Detroit D.E.A.'s office had never encountered. According to the cartel’s handwritten drug ledgers that the government obtained, he delivered 246 kilos in February 2010; 250 kilos in March; another 250 kilos the next month; 200 kilos the next; and another 200 the next. “Before you know it,” Moore said, “he’s an urban legend.”

He always drove alone and had managed to avoid detection for nearly a decade. The D.E.A. agents listened to key cartel figures talk about Tata many times, and they had even caught a glimpse of him once. Now, for the first time in months, Tata was coming back to Detroit.

The D.E.A. officer David Powell was the first to spot the pickup that October day — at 3:13 p.m., not far from Kalamazoo. Powell “maintained the eye,” following the truck from about a half-mile behind. As they barreled toward Detroit, Powell called out the mile markers on the radio so that the other D.E.A. agents along the highway could join the ever-growing procession as the courier passed their waiting spots.

Tata wasn’t driving fast, but he was swerving erratically. At one point, “he cut so close to a semi, I thought he was going to rip the front of his truck off,” Moore said.

Had Tata learned of the sting? Was he trying to lose them? At 3:56 p.m., the truck suddenly cut across traffic and sped toward Exit 97, sending the D.E.A. agents scrambling. Several D.E.A. cars roared past the exit. They spotted the pickup in a hotel parking lot near a Steak ‘n Shake. The agents were nervous. “Was this guy so good that he spotted surveillance?” Moore wondered.

After a few minutes, the truck pulled out from the hotel and slowly headed back toward the Steak ‘n Shake. The agents watched as the driver found the drive-through, pulled in and ordered French fries and an Orange Freeze milkshake. With his shake in hand, Tata headed back to the highway, and the pursuit continued.

Cartel leaders expected the courier at 6:30 p.m. “Mi tata was delayed by a train, another half-hour,” one of them said on a wiretapped phone call that day. But he would never arrive. At 5:45 p.m., State Trooper Craig Ziecina, who was working with the D.E.A., threw on his siren. In order to avoid compromising the investigation, the plan was to handle the stop like a routine traffic violation. Ziecina pulled the truck over for tailgating while Moore and the other agents watched from nearby.

Instead of waiting for the trooper to get out of his patrol car, the driver of the pickup opened his door and gingerly climbed out. If the D.E.A. was correct, this was Tata, the most formidable courier of them all.

The driver was wearing a plaid shirt with khaki pants, white socks and brown shoes. His hair was unkempt, his gait uncertain. He was unshaven and had thick white mutton chops. He carried his glasses with both hands and cupped his ear at the trooper’s instructions. He looked old enough to be Ziecina’s grandfather.

“What’s going on, officer?” the man asked. “At age 87, I want to know why I’m being stopped.”

The truck was a mess — the back seat was covered by a mound of food wrappers, cheese-puff bags, half-eaten sandwiches, crumpled newspapers, a milk bottle and an old bag of golf clubs.

The trooper asked for the driver’s license and registration. “He began to ramble about his age and took a very long time to produce any of the requested information,” Ziecina wrote in his report about the incident. The man seemed confused about what day it was.

The trooper patted him down while the driver found his wallet, and inside it, his license. His name was Leo Sharp, born in 1924. He was a World War II veteran and a great-grandfather. He had no criminal record.

The trooper asked if he was carrying any weapons. “Weapons? At age 87? For what? Officer, please!”

Sharp kept talking — he told the trooper he owned an airline in the 1970s and had lived in Florida, Hawaii, Indiana and Iowa. He said he was in the business of hybridizing plants. “I create new plant hybrids to make the world a better place,” he told the trooper.

Sharp said he was on his way to visit an old war buddy, Vanvelder. But he couldn’t remember Vanvelder’s first name. (“I’ve always called him Van.”) Or his address. Or his phone number.

Ziecina asked Sharp if he was carrying any drugs. “No, sir,” Sharp replied. He said he would prefer that the trooper not search his car so he could kindly be on his way. “I need to get where I’m going before dark, officer,” he said. “I don’t drive very well after it gets dark.”

Ziecina told him he could leave as soon as a colleague’s drug dog cleared the truck. Sharp was so nervous that an artery on his neck was visibly throbbing, Ziecina noted in his report.

The drug dog, Apollo, arrived and expressed great interest in the covered truck bed. Sharp said he didn’t have the keys — he said his sister in Iowa had them — and it had been days since he last opened it.

The troopers told him that Apollo’s response gave them probable cause to search the truck. “Why don’t you just kill me and let me, just, leave the planet,” Sharp said.

As they pried open the locked cover, Sharp was caught on the trooper’s recorder saying, quietly, “Oh, my God.”

What the troopers found amid piles of old clothes and food wrappers were five duffel bags. And inside the duffel bags were 104 kilos of cocaine.

Leo Sharp, the most prolific drug mule that regional law enforcement had ever tracked, was placed under arrest. The Sinaloa cartel’s nickname for him was well chosen. They called him Tata. Grandfather.

Day-lily people like to say that they see themselves in their flowers. Orchids are too fragile, too precious — all that care, all that expense. Roses are too cliché. But day lilies, in their endless varieties of color, shape and size, are hearty antidotes to “fussy little plants,” writes Sydney Eddison, a lily connoisseur, in her book, “A Passion for Daylilies: The Flowers and the People.” They are “upfront, beautiful and sexy.”

Day lilies typically have a few dozen buds, each of which blooms for just one day. Part of their appeal is how easy they are to hybridize. Simply pluck out the male part, brush the pollen on another flower’s female part, and voilà: a unique, new flower will bloom with traits you have selected — green ruffles, yellow dots, tiny petals, blue stripes. There are 75,378 different day lilies officially registered with the American Hemerocallis Society.

Day-lily admirers are as intense as boxing fans, arguing passionately about the beauty and staying power of this or that varietal. And Leo Sharp is their Don King — a widely admired hybridizer with nearly 180 officially registered day lilies to his name.

For years, Sharp attended day-lily conventions across the country dressed in either an all-white leisure suit or an all-black one. He traveled with an entourage of Mexican farmhands to help with the hundreds of flowers he would give away, making his admirers swoon.

“The people who do lilies are way cooler than other plant people,” said Nikki Schmith, a gardener in Worden, Ill., who writes a day-lily blog. “He was just a stud. He just had the air. He had 70-year-old swagger.” Schmith has more than a dozen of Sharp’s day lilies in her own garden. She has won Best in Show in a regional contest with his flowers two years in a row.

Day-lily enthusiasts used to make pilgrimages to Sharp’s flower farm near Michigan City, Ind., a quiet vacation town on the shore of Lake Michigan where he has lived for decades, and to his southern farm in Apopka, Fla., which calls itself “the indoor foliage capital of the world.”




Leo Sharp in May 2014 at his day-lily farm in Indiana.


Sharp’s neighbors in Michigan City remember buses filled with customers idling outside his front gate waiting to buy his signature flowers, almost all named after his business, Brookwood Gardens. There was Brookwood Black Kitten, Brookwood Sweetie Face, Brookwood Barely Pink, Brookwood Pink Sometimes, Brookwood Pink Pinup, Brookwood Right Now, Brookwood Ambivalent and Brookwood Wow.

The world of day lilies belonged to him, one gushing profile in a day-lily newsletter declared in 2009. Little did they know that this “accomplished hybridizer and most generous man” was in all likelihood already working as one of the cartel’s primary couriers. “By mid-2010, he had already brought 1,100 kilos here to Detroit,” said Chris Graveline, the assistant U.S. attorney assigned to Sharp’s case.

Sharp traveled across the country for day-lily speaking engagements and conventions, but federal authorities say they believe he made time to visit Mexico for his other line of work. “Bosses in Mexico know of the Grandfather,” Moore said.

Sharp’s lawyer, Darryl A. Goldberg, said that it was unclear precisely when Sharp began working with the cartel, but he believed it started at the day-lily farm. “He has Mexican fellas working on the farms,” Goldberg said. “They happen to know people who introduced him to other people who asked him if he wanted to get involved in something.” His first assignments were to ferry cash, he said. “And then it morphed into something bigger.”

Law-enforcement authorities said the cartel deliberately recruited couriers who played against type. Walter Ogden, a 57-year-old man from Oklahoma, was another trusted driver. Ogden has been on disability since 2010 and has had four heart attacks, according to his lawyer. He was a former heavy-equipment operator for an excavation company in Oklahoma City and, like Sharp, had no criminal record.

“Leo is the perfect courier for the cartel,” said Special Agent Jeremy Fitch, one of the D.E.A. agents who worked the case. “He has a legitimate ID, he’s an older guy, he wouldn’t be pegged as a drug runner and he has no criminal history.”

It’s easy to see how the work might have been tempting: Couriers were generally paid $1,000 per kilo, so Sharp would have made $104,000 on the trip where he was arrested and a total of more than $1 million in 2010.

Sharp’s gardening friends still search for clues as to what happened. Gisela Meckstroth, the former head of the Great Lakes region of the A.H.S., points to a Hispanic farmhand who traveled with Sharp to a flower symposium in Cleveland around 2005. “In retrospect you look back and you say, ‘What was he doing there with his manager?’ ” she said. “What was that all about? No one else traveled like that with a manager.”

Prosecutors are less interested in what caused Sharp to go into business with the cartel. “The defendant clearly chose his role in this conspiracy for two reasons,” they wrote. “(1) he saw nothing wrong with the trafficking of cocaine and (2) greed.”

The Detroit D.E.A. office is in a nondescript building a block from the federal courthouse. A triple-beam scale rests on a desk next to overstuffed files, and a particularly great “Scarface” poster, complete with a cutout for a fake machine gun, looms over their computers. “Every house we hit has a ‘Scarface’ poster,” Moore said.

Moore has short, spiky dark hair and a thin goatee. At 43, he is fairly certain that the Sinaloa investigation will be the biggest of his career. “I’ll never see another case like this,” he said, sounding a bit wistful, as we drove around Detroit on a recent afternoon, visiting the cartel’s old haunts. (One of them, an excellent taqueria in Mexicantown, had served as a meeting point both for D.E.A. agents and drug couriers.)

Moore started out as a street cop in Kansas City, Mo., working domestic disputes and traffic violations. Eventually he made his way to narcotics, where he worked undercover. He grew his hair long, stopped shaving and visited every crack house in town, usually with a prostitute in tow. Kansas City crack houses all had the same basic protocol, Moore said: As soon as you entered, you were greeted with a smoldering crack pipe and a demand that you smoke it to prove you were not a cop.

The art of the undercover assignment lies in delivering an excuse that doesn’t get you shot: My kid is waiting in the car; I have a drug test in the morning; I’m on my way to work. Moore’s identity was never revealed. “Most fun I ever had,” he said.

When Moore joined the D.E.A. in Detroit in 2004, he was eager to put his undercover expertise to the test. On his first undercover assignment, he tried to buy a few thousand dollars’ worth of heroin in a McDonald’s parking lot. It did not go well. The dealer stuck a gun to his head and led the police on a high-speed car chase. Moore never worked undercover again.

The Sinaloa case began in the summer of 2011 with a routine bust involving two kilograms of cocaine. That bust led to a dealer named Tusa, whom Moore tried to turn into an informant. During their first and only conversation, Tusa mentioned the name of a local heavyweight: Ramon Ramos. Moore had never heard the name before. A few days later, he tried to follow up with Tusa, but it was too late — his informant had already disconnected his phone and moved back to Mexico.

Moore began investigating Ramos, trailing him across Detroit. After six months, Moore got a search warrant for Ramos’s house and found more than $350,000 in cash. It could have ended there, but Ramos said he was the bookkeeper for a trafficking ring that was part of the Sinaloa cartel. And he was willing to cooperate in the hope that agents would help him get immunity and enter the witness-protection program.

Informants are often low-level functionaries with few contacts beyond their immediate handlers, but Ramos knew everyone in the Detroit cell. As he opened up his ledgers, recorded in codes and symbols, he offered a paper trail that allowed the D.E.A. to diagram a far-flung network that, until now, they didn’t even know existed.

“It’s kind of like you got Al Capone’s accountant,” Chris Graveline, the U.S. attorney, said.

To show that he was serious, Ramos told them about a coming meeting. In a few days, he said, a courier driving an R.V. would pick up nearly $2 million in drug proceeds at 9:30 a.m. from a warehouse in Wyandotte, Mich. Moore was skeptical — they almost never saw such a major transaction.

This wasn’t a major transaction, Ramos said. It was routine.

At the appointed time, from inside a surveillance van parked a block away, Moore locked his binoculars on the warehouse. It was utterly anonymous, a plain one-story building opposite a quiet park in a blue-collar suburb. “We would never know about this place,” Moore said as he showed me the building. “There’s nothing suspicious about it.”

Waiting at the warehouse was Teddy Czach, who ran McCaffery’s, a well-known Irish bar in Lincoln Park with a ye-olde-pub design and $2 Long Island iced teas. According to Moore, Czach was once an important person for the cartel, but Ramos had replaced him as the main bookkeeper. (Czach’s lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.)

Moore watched an R.V. turn onto the quiet street and nose into the warehouse’s garage door. The driver, Walter Ogden, the retiree from Oklahoma, got out, and Czach helped him load some duffel bags. A “routine” traffic stop after the R.V. drove away confirmed it: Ogden had picked up $1.96 million, just as Ramos said he would. Law-enforcement officials arrested Ogden — “that’s a tremendous amount of money to let walk,” Moore said — without revealing to the cartel that they now had an inside source.

Over the next six months, Moore and Ramos met twice a week in parking lots outside Walmart, Home Depot or Lowe’s. The organization generally worked like this, Ramos told him: Senior cartel leaders in Mexico would send the drugs to a house in Tucson, where a contact known as Viejo, the head of Detroit distribution, would hire a courier to drive the drugs to Ramos and other cartel members in Michigan. They would then sell it to Detroit’s biggest drug dealers, people like Pancho, the one-legged distributor. Pancho could have been the target of his own major D.E.A. investigation; but this case was so big that Pancho sat somewhere on the third tier of suspects. (His lawyer disputed that he was one of the largest drug dealers in Detroit.)

Ramos proved to be the ideal informant. While he was taking a tremendous risk in working with the D.E.A., he was perhaps less vulnerable than most. Authorities will not say where he is from, but he is not Mexican and, Graveline said, he may have felt somewhat less fearful because “his family is not down in Sinaloa country.”

With Moore listening in, Ramos would call cartel leaders in Mexico to discuss coming shipments. He agreed to wear video-recording devices into his meetings at Untouchables, an auto-body shop, and to the various parking lots where he met dealers in parked cars. It was Ramos who first told Moore about the elderly courier the cartel liked to work with. He only knew him as Tata.

On Sept. 17, 2011, Ramos met with Tata at Czach’s warehouse. It was Moore’s first sighting of Sharp. “I was kind of surprised that he seemed like he was in pretty good health,” Moore said. “When you hear 87 years old, you think of someone in a wheelchair. He was in good shape.”

While several men loaded up his truck with three duffel bags filled with cash, Tata cracked jokes about the drive and told the group that his doctor told him he would live to be 100. After the car was packed and Sharp was preparing to drive off, he asked Ramos to take some Georgia onions.

Onions? Moore had spent countless hours decoding the secret language of the cartel — cocaine was called food, heroin was called fea. Onions was a new one. Was it opium? Weapons?

“Onions,” Moore said. “We thought it was kind of weird at first.” But onions were not a code for anything. The Grandfather was talking about a bag of vegetables.

At Detroit’s federal courthouse, it was hard to square the prosecutor’s descriptions of Sharp’s crimes — “the amount of wrecked lives is staggering” — with the kindly old man with crepe-paper skin slouching at the defense table, so hard of hearing that his lawyer had to stage-whisper his sotto voce counsel: “I’m going to have you stand for a minute!” In a previous court appearance, Sharp apologized to a frustrated magistrate judge that he had lost “a terrific amount” of his hearing. “My doctor said I was too near a cannon during the war,” he said.

Sharp wore a baggy black suit, and his hair was a shock of dandelion fluff. He had watery eyes and a nervous habit of chuckling to himself every few minutes. He fidgeted at the defense table, waiting for the judge to enter. He pulled out an overstuffed leather wallet to show photos of his daughter in Hawaii to courtroom officers. “They live in a good place,” he said in a froggy voice. “It’s paradise.” The court officers nodded politely. During another break, he leaned back at the defense table and belched. Twice.

One fundamental question looming over the case is whether Leo Sharp was savvy or senile. His lawyer, Darryl Goldberg, argues that merciless criminals took advantage of a sick old man slipping further into dementia every day. A prison sentence would amount to a death sentence, he said. “This is a man who has lived an exemplary life, and then at old age he started suffering from dementia,” Goldberg said. “The hallmark of dementia is poor judgment and poor decision-making.”

Goldberg submitted to the court a neuropsychological assessment conducted by Dr. Mary F. Zemansky, an Indiana psychologist, that found Sharp’s profile to be “consistent with dementia, demonstrated by a significant loss of information over short time periods.”

Goldberg argued that Sharp was coerced into working as a courier — a claim Sharp first made in an early court appearance. “You’re dealing here with a man who was forced to do what I did by gunpoint,” Sharp told a magistrate judge not long after he was arrested.

Was a gun really pulled? Goldberg acknowledges that if it was, it was late in the relationship with the cartel, not at the beginning. But he said that Sharp wanted out of the drug-running business and that the cartel wouldn’t let him leave. He points to a conversation caught on wiretap a few days before Sharp was arrested about whether the Grandfather would make another run.

“I mean, he doesn’t want to really, the old man,” Viejo said. “He . . . isn’t afraid, right?”

An associate said that the Grandfather might in fact be frightened.

“Brainwash him some there,” Viejo said. “So once he gets there, he’ll go on and grab the kit.”

“I hope the old man will,” he added. “Sometimes he gets testy.”

Goldberg says the recordings speak for themselves: A sick old man was being exploited. “I’m not saying dementia is his excuse, but it certainly explains a little bit about how he got involved with these folks,” he said.

Prosecutors scoff at the notion that Sharp was forced into being a drug mule. The D.E.A. has photos of Sharp and Viejo, one of the senior leaders of the Detroit ring, vacationing together in Hawaii. The repeat trips, the chumminess, the sheer volume of cocaine — it all points to a man in control, prosecutors argue.

“Leo is a sharp guy,” Graveline said. “At no point was it, ‘Oh, we’ll take advantage of this guy.’ They had been working with him for a decade. They knew him.”

Sharp drove cross-country routes on his own that would have exhausted men half his age — on his last trip, he went from Florida to North Carolina to Arizona to Michigan, all in eight days. He was also more trusted than nearly every other courier. Typically, a drug courier parks his car with the keys inside and leaves it in a hotel parking lot. A different person drives it away. Several hours later, the courier returns to find the car packed with drugs. He never sees anyone’s face.

Sharp was different. His trips often began in Tucson, where there are several drug houses near one another, law-enforcement officials said. One is filled with product for Chicago; one for Boston; one for Detroit. Sharp would begin his cross-country journeys at Tucson’s Detroit house. That’s almost unheard-of in the world of couriers. “That’s a huge risk,” Moore said. “You can tell there’s a long history of trust.”

As effective and trusted as Sharp was as a courier, there were signs that he was becoming a liability for the cartel. During one leg of his final trip, Moore said, he dropped his truck off at a repair shop with the cocaine still inside it. And when he was making runs for the cartel, a contact had to meet him at the exit ramp and guide him through the streets around Detroit to the drop spot. No other courier required that service.

His hygiene had deteriorated, a common indicator of dementia. “Could he be losing his sharpness over the years?” Graveline asked. “Possibly.”

Sometimes the cartel called him El Viejito, the little old man. More often it was Mi Tata, my grandpa. He was particularly close with Viejo. But Viejo teased Sharp as well. In a wiretapped call, Viejo joked that Tata was happy because “he’s getting teeth put in in the next few days.” (These weren’t code words. The cartel leaders were discussing their courier’s dentures.) Just days before Sharp’s arrest, they poked fun at his forgetfulness. “What did the old man tell you?” Viejo asked. The other cartel member replied, laughing, “He wanted to verify what he had told me because he couldn’t remember.”

Despite trips to Indiana and Michigan, and months of requests for an interview with Sharp, Goldberg ultimately decided not to let me speak to his client — not on the record, off the record, with lawyers present or with ground rules. I never figured out whether he was worried Sharp was too senile for an interview or not senile enough.

But before Goldberg made that decision, I introduced myself while he and Sharp were sitting on a bench outside the courtroom. “This man is very interested in your life, Leo,” Goldberg said to his client, speaking slowly and emphatically.

“Ha ha ha!” Sharp chuckled inappropriately. He heartily shook my hand while flashing me a gummy grin. It was his 90th birthday.

Leo Sharp pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy charges on Oct. 8, 2013. But he did not cooperate with the authorities in any meaningful way. He did not explain his relationship with the cartel or how he managed to evade detection while driving drugs thousands of miles across the country. But he managed to help investigators anyway.

For months, the D.E.A. had been investigating Sharp’s handler, Viejo, who sat atop the Detroit trafficking ring. Despite the nickname, Viejo wasn’t old; Moore believes he was called Viejo out of respect. Investigators knew he was Hispanic, had a mole on his cheek and lived in Florida. But they didn’t know his real name or his address.

When agents searched Sharp’s truck after pulling him over on I-94, they found, amid the trash, a scrap of paper with a phone number, Miami area code, scrawled next to the name Della. They traced the phone number to the Miami home of a man named Pedro Delgado-Sanchez and his wife. The D.E.A. pulled Delgado-Sanchez’s driver’s-license photo and showed it to Ramos. That’s Viejo, Ramos said.

Four months after Sharp’s arrest, on Feb. 26, 2012, D.E.A. agents fanned out across the country for takedown day. All at once, they hit 10 locations connected with the cartel.

They raided Antonio (Pancho) Simmons’s home in Willis, Mich., a McMansion with a deluxe kitchen, canopy bed and flat-screen TVs. They raided the Detroit home of Kenneth Jenkins, another major local distributor, and found metal walls 10-feet high surrounding a pack of pit bulls, along with tens of thousands of dollars stashed in the pockets of his pinstriped suits. They raided the home of David Jurado, another big-time dealer, in Woodhaven, Mich., where they found $700,000 stashed in the air ducts. Czach, the bar manager, was arrested outside another warehouse used by the cartel.

Within days, they had 19 indictments. All but two have since pleaded guilty. José Roberto Lucero-Bustamante, who ran the Detroit cartel branch from Mexico, is a fugitive. Armando Dias-Lucero, his deputy, is believed to be dead.

Chapo Guzman, the head of the entire Sinaloa cartel, was one of the most wanted fugitives in the world. He was arrested in February in an unrelated investigation, a surprising coup many in law enforcement thought would never happen. Still, experts believe that the Sinaloa cartel is almost certain to continue its operations.....


In Detroit, officials say that their busts have helped raise the street price of a kilogram of cocaine to roughly $43,000 from about $30,000. “When you spike the price by one-third, I think you’ve hit the right vein of where it’s coming from,” Graveline said.

The cartel’s two other major local couriers, both of whom carried less cocaine than Sharp, were sentenced to five and seven years in prison. Distributors have received as much as 16 years.

As for Ramos, the only thing law-enforcement spokesmen will say is that he is alive and well and living somewhere under an assumed identity. “There are a lot of people who are not happy with him,” Graveline told me with a sly smile.

Sharp faced a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, although prosecutors recommended that he serve only five, in part because of his age. At the sentencing last month, Sharp’s lawyer described him as a World War II veteran deserving of mercy. “That’s not how we honor our heroes,” Goldberg said.

Then Graveline described Sharp as a remorseless criminal who preyed upon Detroit’s citizens. “How many addicts are out on the street simply because Mr. Sharp brought the cocaine here?” he asked.

Finally, it was Sharp’s turn to speak. He addressed the judge in a soft, croaky voice. “I’m really heartbroken I did what I did,” he said. “But it’s done.”

Then he made one, final, strange plea. If he could stay out of jail, he proposed paying off the $500,000 penalty he owed the government by growing Hawaiian papayas. “It’s so sweet and delicious,” he said, his voice nearly breaking.

The judge didn’t bite. Leo Sharp was sentenced to three years in federal prison.

He managed to win one point when negotiating his plea deal, however. The government allowed him to keep his day-lily farm.


For all the time that Jeff Moore spent on the Leo Sharp case, he never went to see the day-lily farm. Sharp’s lawyer had never visited it, either.
I was determined to see it, but neither of them knew exactly where it was.

I called Nikki Schmith, the day-lily blogger who visited Sharp’s garden about five years ago. She didn’t remember the address but sent me her best recollection of how to find it. “Be on the lookout for a black railroad truss,” she wrote in an email. “If I remember right, the road kind of dips and curves to the left and the truss shows up out of nowhere. Immediately following the truss, turn right and head down about a half mile or so. The remains of Brookwood Gardens are just over the hill.”

The day after Sharp’s sentencing, I drove to Michigan City. After about an hour of aimlessly driving around town, I looked up and saw a train rumbling along an overpass. The truss! I turned up a winding gravel road and there on the left hung a tattered blue sign that read, “Brookwood Gardens.”

I walked through the gate and past a rusted white trailer. A rough dirt path cut the field in two. Along the edges of the field stood a forest of tall white sprinklers that had all gone dry. Tiny flower labels marking bare plots of dirt poked from the ground: Crown Prince, Chariot Wheel, Lemon Splash. One read, simply, Happiness.

It was too early for the day lilies. But all around, in ragged clumps and uneven lines, in brilliant bursts of yellow, orange, white and green, wildflowers were blooming.


Quote:

If he could stay out of jail, Sharp proposed paying off the $500,000 penalty he owed the government by growing Hawaiian papayas.

...






El Chapo, (Joaquín Guzmán Loera) was found guilty of all counts in the US on 12 February 2019, and will be sentenced on 25 June 2019.

The Clint Eastwood Movie is Posted on This Site & Can Be Found HERE:

The Mule 2018 BRRip AC3 X264-CMRG



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Movies Re: Druglord El Chapo Sentenced to Life + 30 Years.

Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, Sinaloa Cartel is Sentenced to Life in Prison Plus 30 Years.


On 17 July 2019, a US judge sentenced Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán to life in prison plus 30 years.



Guzmán, 62, was found guilty of 10 charges, including drug trafficking and money laundering, by a federal court in New York in February.


He escaped a Mexican jail through a tunnel in 2016, but was later arrested. He was extradited to the US in 2017.

He is a former head of the Sinaloa cartel, which officials say was the biggest supplier of drugs to the US.

During the trial, witnesses said he had tortured his cartel's enemies.

Speaking through an interpreter just before Wednesday's sentencing, Guzmán said in the Brooklyn courtroom his confinement in the US had amounted to "psychological, emotional, mental torture 24 hours a day".

He also said he had received an unfair trial, accusing jurors of misconduct.

El Chapo must forfeit $12.6 billion


'El Chapo' Arrived at Court Every Day in an Armoured Convoy





Sinaloa Cartel Marches On

Despite the arrest, extradition and now conviction of narco-lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, his Sinaloa cartel marches on —


The proof is in huge, multi-drug shipments detected on the border and labs seized by Mexican authorities in recent months. The cartel still controls a worldwide web of contacts that can move Colombian cocaine to Cameroon and Mexican meth cooks to Malaysia.

It also controls seaports to get drugs and precursor chemicals shipped in from around the globe; employs labs and chemists to process them; bribes corrupt cops to ensure the drugs can be moved to the border; has engineered multimillion-dollar tunnels to smuggle tons of marijuana and cocaine under the frontier; and pays "mules" to ferry shipments in cars and trucks.


For the people of Badiraguato, the municipality where Guzman was born, nothing much has changed since his extradition to face charges in the United States that marked the end of an era in which he was Mexico's most notorious drug cartel boss and, for some, the stuff of folk legend.

Jaime Laija, a shop owner on the town of Badiraguato, said El Chapo's conviction does not affect them, that business is slow, and that what they need is more jobs.

Sinaloa's Secretary of Public Safety, Cristobal Castañeda Camarillo talking to reporter on Monday said that although crime in his state seemed to be on a downward trend, he did not believe Guzman's conviction would have a noticeable impact.


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