Prosecutors want El Chapo to rot in prison for life — plus 30 years
Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman should be sentenced to life behind bars — plus 30 years, according to prosecutors.
Guzman, 62, already faces a mandatory minimum of life behind bars at sentencing following his February conviction on various drug trafficking charges — including operating a continual criminal enterprise.
Prosecutors say Brooklyn federal court judge Brian Cogan should tack 30 years onto the baseline sentence because a jury found Guzman guilty of the unlawful use of a firearms, including machine guns, while running the Sinaloa Cartel.
“The horrific nature and circumstances of the defendant’s offense, his history and characteristics and the fact that the defendant committed some of the most serious crimes under federal law make a life sentence warranted,” the government writes.
“A life sentence is warranted to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant, who has spent three decades committing crimes unabated and obstructing justice to avoid taking responsibility for those crimes.”
In their five-page filing, prosecutors also reveal that at least one unnamed Guzman victim will make a victim impact statement at next week’s sentencing — and another at least one more is seeking restitution.
“At least one of the victims who survived a murder plot initiated by the defendant intends to make a victim-impact statement at the sentencing hearing on July 17,” the document reads. “All but one of the victims the government was able to contact indicated that they would not seek restitution in this case. The government is awaiting a victim loss affidavit from the single victim who has indicated s/he would like to seek restitution.”
While it’s not clear from the filing who that victim is, former associate Miguel Angel Martinez Martinez testified at trial he survived at least three attempted murders ordered by Guzman while he worked for the Sinaloa Cartel, including an incident in which grenades were lobbed into his jail cell.
The sentencing recommendation comes after prosecutors proposed seizing $12.6 billion from the longtime Sinaloa Cartel leader.
Guzman is currently housed in the notorious 10 South wing of the Metropolitan Correctional Center — where court documents reveal he’s stuffing toilet paper in his ears, and drinking moldy water.
Cogan also declined a request from the kingpin for outdoor exercise, after prosecutors claimed it could be an escape ruse.
Defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman said the prosecution’s sentencing recommendation was just another act in his client’s “show trial.”
“Mr. Guzman faces a mandatory life sentence — so even if the government asked for a year in prison, Judge Cogan is required to sentence him to life,” Lichtman said. “As for the restitution, it’s a fiction much like the $12.7 billion forfeiture request: the government has not located a penny of his assets. All part of the show trial.”
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