The attorney for convicted drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman shot back at Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) idea to make his client pay for the wall along the U.S. southern border with Mexico, calling it “ludicrous.”
“Sen. Cruz surely knows that the government has seized none — not a penny — of Mr. Guzman’s assets so getting him to pay for the wall is ludicrous,” Guzman’s attorney, Jeffrey Lichtman, told CNN.
“There’s a better chance of Mr. Cruz paying for the wall,” he added.
Lichtman did not comment or release information about his client’s assets.
Jurors found Guzman guilty of all the counts against him at a hearing in New York last week. The charges against him include narcotics trafficking, using a firearm to carry out his drug crimes, and money laundering conspiracy.
Prosecutors are reportedly looking to seize $14 billion in assets and drug profits from the convicted drug lord as part of his sentence.
Cruz tweeted shortly after news of Guzman’s conviction broke that the $14 billion should go towards funding the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico:
America’s justice system prevailed today in convicting Joaquín Guzmán Loera, aka El Chapo, on all 10 counts. U.S. prosecutors are seeking $14 billion in drug profits & other assets from El Chapo which should go towards funding our wall to #SecureTheBorder. https://t.co/hPwEUVM6SP
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) February 12, 2019
The Texas Republican revived a bill he proposed in April 2017 called the “EL CHAPO Act,” which would force Guzman and other convicted drug lords to fork over their assets to pay for the Trump administration’s proposed border wall.
“The U.S. Government is currently seeking the criminal forfeiture of more than $14 billion in drug proceeds and illicit profits from El Chapo, the former leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel who was recently extradited to the U.S. to face criminal prosecution for numerous alleged drug-related crimes, including conspiracy to commit murder and money laundering,” the senator said at the time.