El Chapo is escorted by DEA agents.

(Photo by Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via Getty Images)

El Chapo lawyer vows to appeal conviction

February 12, 2019 - 4:15 pm
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Mexican drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman has been found guilty on all counts.

It took nearly three months of testimony and more than a week of deliberations about a vast drug-smuggling conspiracy steeped in violence, for the Brooklyn jury to reach a verdict in the infamous drug lord's U.S. trial.

LISTEN LIVE: Coverage of the jury's verdict in El Chapo

The evidence included testimony from 14 cooperators.

Many described Guzman's willingness to use violence against enemies of a cartel that prosecutors say smuggled at least 200 tons of cocaine into the U.S. over two decades.

The defense accused prosecution cooperators of making him a scapegoat for their own crimes.

Guzman, 61, is notorious for escaping prison twice in Mexico. In closing arguments, prosecutor Andrea Goldbarg said he was plotting yet another breakout when was he was sent in 2017 to the U.S., where he has been in solitary confinement ever since.

The defendant wanted to escape "because he is guilty and he never wanted to be in a position where he would have to answer for his crimes," Goldbarg said. "He wanted to avoid sitting right there. In front of you."

The defense claimed Guzman's role was exaggerated by cooperating witnesses who are seeking leniency in their own cases. In his closing, defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman assailed the case as a "fantasy" and urged the jury not to believe cooperators who "lie, steal, cheat, deal drugs and kill people" for a living.

Lichtman said the notorious drug lord's conviction will be appealed.

Jeffrey Lichtman said outside a Brooklyn courthouse Tuesday the defense ``fought like complete savages'' at the U.S. drug-trafficking trial and will ``continue to fight'' for Guzman.

Federal court marshals whisked Guzman out of the courtroom immediately after the judge read the guilty verdict.

U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue says he expects Guzman to get a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

 Guzman's wife left the courthouse without speaking to reporters.