El Chapo Earned $12,666,181,704, Prosecutors Say. They Need Him to Pay It Again.

New York|El Chapo Earned $12,666,181,704, Prosecutors Say. They Need Him to Pay It Again.


Credit scoreCredit scoreEduardo Verdugo/Related Press

In his 30-year profession as one in every of Mexico’s wiliest and most profitable drug lords, Joaquín Guzmán Loera — higher often known as El Chapo — made a lot cash promoting medicine that he as soon as owned a pair of yachts, a fleet of Learjets and a personal zoo with tigers, crocodiles and panthers. His fortune was huge sufficient that he was named to Forbes journal’s annual record of billionaires 4 instances.

However now the federal prosecutors who convicted Mr. Guzmán at his trial this winter in New York have put an precise price ticket on his earnings, calculating the quantity right down to the greenback. They usually need him to pay it again.

Late final week, the prosecutors filed a forfeiture request towards the kingpin, laying out in outstanding element how he had remodeled staggering portions of medicine into equally staggering income through the years.

From the early 1990s till his arrest in 2016, the prosecutors stated, Mr. Guzmán dealt with practically 600,000 kilograms of cocaine (value greater than $11 billion), 200 kilograms of heroin (value greater than $11 million) and a minimum of 420,000 kilograms of marijuana (value about $846 million).

Whole invoice due: $12,666,181,704.

As astonishing as these figures appear to be, the prosecutors famous that they have been solely a “conservative” estimate of the nonetheless unknown — and maybe unknowable — whole quantity of medicine that Mr. Guzmán might have smuggled throughout his profitable lifetime of crime.

Of their 12-page forfeiture doc, prosecutors stated that they had arrived on the numbers by including up all the narcotics offered to Mr. Guzmán by only some of his many suppliers: Juan Carlos Ramírez Abadía, Jorge Cifuentes-Villa and Luis Caicedo, often known as “Don Lucho.”

Each Mr. Ramírez and Mr. Cifuentes testified towards Mr. Guzmán at his trial to devastating impact. However though Mr. Caicedo secretly pleaded responsible to drug costs in Brooklyn — and thus was theoretically out there to testify — he by no means appeared on the witness stand.

As a substitute of utilizing his testimony, the prosecutors included of their forfeiture submitting a sworn assertion from his chief monetary officer, José Yusti Llano, who provided new particulars on the modern methods by which Mr. Guzmán, and others within the Sinaloa drug cartel, had paid Mr. Caicedo.

In response to the assertion, the Caicedo group stored a listing of transport containers in a warehouse in Mexico Metropolis owned by “seemingly professional firms.” When Mr. Guzmán and his allies have been able to pay for his or her cocaine, the assertion stated, they’d pack the containers with as a lot as $5 million in money and ship them to Colombia.

At this level, it stays unclear how a lot, if something, of the $12.7 billion that the federal government is searching for from Mr. Guzmán will in the end be recouped.

Prosecutors have by no means publicly revealed in the event that they know the place he retains his property, and there was little trial testimony on the topic, apart from a couple of passing mentions of homes and flats in Mexico full of as a lot as $30 million at a time.

Because the forfeiture submitting itself prompt, Mr. Guzmán was a talented cash launderer. He hid a few of his income within the banking system, some in an insurance coverage firm run by an affiliate and a few in debit playing cards issued by a agency in Colombia referred to as Monodeaux.

The kingpin’s future earnings will probably be severely restricted on condition that he’ll quickly head to jail for the remainder of his life. The forfeiture request was filed as a part of his sentencing, which is scheduled to happen in Federal District Court docket in Brooklyn on July 17. Mr. Guzmán stays in custody within the high-security wing of Manhattan’s federal jail.

On July three, Choose Brian M. Cogan, who has dealt with the case from its starting, denied a movement by Mr. Guzmán’s legal professionals for a brand new trial. That movement adopted the publication of an article by Vice Media, a couple of days after the conviction, by which one of many nameless jurors informed a Vice reporter that a number of members of the panel had learn media accounts concerning the trial, towards the decide’s orders. The juror additionally claimed that the panelists had lied to Choose Cogan when he had requested them if that they had adopted his directions.

Due to the severity of his crimes, Mr. Guzmán faces a compulsory time period of life in jail, that means there won’t be many lingering questions when he seems in courtroom to have his sentence handed down. However there should be some drama.

Throughout the trial, the kingpin declined to testify on his personal behalf. However like all defendants, he has the suitable to talk at his sentencing.

Ought to he accomplish that, it will present him together with his greatest discussion board but to explain his life — and presumably his crimes.

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