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Mexico's El Chapo sentenced to life in prison

Last Updated Jul 17, 2019 at 10:50 am MST

FILE - In this Jan. 19, 2017, file photo provided by U.S. law enforcement, authorities escort Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, center, from a plane to a waiting caravan of SUVs at Long Island MacArthur Airport, in Ronkonkoma, N.Y. Guzman, who was convicted in February 2019 on multiple conspiracy counts in an epic drug-trafficking case, will be sentenced in a New York courtroom on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (U.S. law enforcement via AP, File)

NEW YORK – The notorious Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has been sentenced to life behind bars in a U.S. prison.

A federal judge in Brooklyn handed down the sentence Wednesday. Guzman was convicted in February in an epic drug-trafficking case.

The 62-year-old drug lord was brought to the U.S. to stand trial after he twice broke out of Mexican prisons.

The guilty verdict triggered a mandatory sentence of life without parole.

READ MORE: El Chapo faces sentencing in U.S. case

Joaquin Guzman thanked his family Wednesday for their support throughout his months-long trial.

Speaking through an interpreter, he said their prayers gave him the strength to “bare this torture that I have been under for the past 30 months.”

Guzman also complained about the conditions of his confinement and said he was denied a fair trial.

U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan defended his decision not to grant Guzman a new trial amid claims of juror misconduct in the case.

Guzman was found guilty in February of leading a murderous drug conspiracy. He was ordered to pay $12.6 billion in ill-gotten drug proceeds.

Under Guzman’s leadership, the Sinaloa cartel was responsible for multiple murders and smuggling mountains of cocaine and other drugs into the United States.

Guzman’s lawyers believe he was framed.