US authorities announced today that they were looking for a court injunction forcing Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to give up $ 12.7 billion following his conviction for racketeering crimes and drug trafficking at the beginning of this year.
The sum represents the total amount of cocaine, marijuana, and heroin that a jury found that Guzman trafficked, multiplied by the average prices of those drugs, according to a deposit by prosecutors from the Brooklyn federal court.
It was not immediately clear what goods, if any, the United States could seize to satisfy the judgment. A spokesman for prosecutors declined to comment.
"This is largely an academic exercise in that the government has never identified or identified a penny of these $ 12.7 billion proceeds apparently generated by Mr. Guzman," said Jeffrey Lichtman, Guzman's lawyer.
Guzman, 62, was sentenced on February 12th for all 10 leaders he faced, after the jurors heard the evidence of over 50 witnesses, offering an unprecedented look at the inner workings of his Sinaloa sign. He faces life in prison for his sentence scheduled for 17 July.
On Wednesday, US district judge Brian Cogan denied his motion to dismiss the verdict and hold a new trial. Guzman's lawyers had argued that a new trial was needed after Vice News published an interview with one of the jurors, who claimed that the jury disobeyed court orders during the case.
Guzman made his name in the 80s by building cross-border tunnels that allowed him to move cocaine from Mexico to the United States faster than anyone else. He spent most of his career on the run, passing from one hiding place to another in the mountains of Sinaloa, guarded by a private army, and twice escaped from the maximum security of Mexican prisons.
He was eventually captured in January 2016 and extradited to the United States to stand trial.
Despite the arrest of Guzman, the Sinaloa cartel still has the largest presence in the United States of Mexican cartel distribution, followed by the rapidly growing new-generation Jalisco cartel, according to the US Enforcement Administration.
Together, they are the largest manufacturers of drugs sold on US roads.
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