Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York are seeking to seize $12,666,191,704 in assets, cash, and property that they claim famed kingpin “El Chapo” accumulated during his criminal career.
In a letter filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, prosecutors are moving to seize $12.6 billion from convicted kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. A federal court convicted the former Sinaloa Cartel leader during a lengthy trial in February on multiple charges related to his role as the supreme leader of the Sinaloa Cartel. Currently, the drug lord awaits his sentencing hearing later this month where he faces a life sentence.
As Breitbart News reported, during El Chapo’s trial, witnesses revealed that the drug lord had bribed top Mexican officials including military generals and allegedly paid $100 million to former president Enrique Pena Nieto. Testimony also pointed to El Chapo having sent money to current Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) for his unsuccessful 2006 presidential bid.
The amount that prosecutors look to seize is based on a calculation from the quantities of drugs that the Sinaloa Cartel smuggled as per witness testimony. According to court records, witnesses revealed that the cartel had smuggled 528,276 kilograms of cocaine worth $11.8 billion, 423,000 kilograms of marijuana worth $846 million, and 202 kilograms of heroin worth $11 million.
In their pleading, prosecutors estimate that El Chapo’s criminal empire, “obtained for distribution, conservatively over $12,666,191,704, worth of illegal drugs.” The drugs were sold in the U.S. and the proceeds laundered to pay expenses and sent back to Mexico to cover El Chapo’s lavish lifestyle.
While most of the money may not be readily available, “the government need not prove that the defendant can pay the forfeiture money judgment; it need only prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the amount it seeks is forfeitable,” the document obtained by Breitbart News revealed. “Mandatory forfeiture is concerned not with how much an individual has, but with how much he received during the commission of the crime.” Prosecutors claim that they are entitled to forfeit any property that was derived from the criminal empire.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Border / Cartel Chronicles. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.
Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Border / Cartel Chronicles. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.