For nearly 30 years, El Chapo, 62, sold enough drugs to build a massive fortune, even making it onto Forbes list of billionaires for four years in a row, beginning in 2009.
The accused Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is seen in this courtroom sketch, waving to his wife Emma Coronel Aispuro, upon entering the courtroom on the day he was found guilty of smuggling tons of drugs to the United States, in Brooklyn federal court in NY, on February 12, 2019.
At a news conference following the sentencing, Guzman's attorney said he was not certain which prison his client would be sent to, but presumed it would be Supermax.
The 62-year-old drug lord - sporting his trademark moustache after being clean-shaven during his trial - also used what could be his last chance to speak in public by complaining about being kept in solitary confinement since he was brought to the USA to stand trial after twice breaking out of Mexican prisons.
The guilty verdict triggered a mandatory sentence of life without parole. They also claimed his trial was tainted by jurors improperly viewing media coverage of the highly publicised case.
The evidence showed that under Guzman's orders, the Sinaloa cartel was responsible for smuggling mountains of cocaine and other drugs into the United States during his 25-year reign, prosecutors said in court papers re-capping the trial.
Guzman also spoke in court and said that 'there was no justice here'.
Guzman, who recently grew a mustache, complained about the terms of his confinement before his sentence was handed down.
Despite Guzman's downfall, the Sinaloa Cartel had the biggest US distribution presence of Mexican cartels as of a year ago, followed by the fast-growing Jalisco New Generation Cartel, according to the US Drug Enforcement Administration. Cogan denied that request.
For his part, Guzman sipped water and waved to his young wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro as she told her story.
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MCALESTER, OK - JUNE 11: Convicted murderer Terry Nichols is escorted out of the Pittsburg County Courthouse after a state jury deadlocked on a life or death sentence for his state convictions June 11, 2004 in McAlester, Oklahoma.
U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan was nonplussed and called the pint-sized pusher "overwhelmingly evil".
The Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was sentenced to life in prison on July 17.
That lockup houses some of the most notorious criminals ever to set foot in an American courtroom.
There are few men in El Chapo's position that have captivated an audience quite as he has.
For Joaquin Guzman, that's the biggest question at his sentencing in New York City on Wednesday.
Before his capture in 2016, Guzman escaped two maximum-security prisons in Mexico - in one instance by riding a motorbike through a tunnel underneath his cell.
Guzman, the 62-year-old former co-leader of Mexico's mighty Sinaloa drug cartel, was convicted in February in USA federal court on a spate of charges, including smuggling hundreds of tons of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana into the United States.
Guzman, 62, was convicted on February 12 of trafficking tons of cocaine, heroin and other drugs into the United States as the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico, where prosecutors said he amassed power through murders and wars with rival cartels.