Will El Chapo ever be freed? Debunking the myths surrounding his sentence

El Chapo remains incarcerated for life in the U.S. Supermax prison, quelling rumors of his potential return to the Sinaloa Cartel.

A recent revelation by the DEA indicated that the Sinaloa Cartel and the CJNG boast 44,800 members in their ranks. This has prompted speculation about the potential release of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the erstwhile leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, from prison. At the heart of the matter is whether or not Guzmán could resume his leadership role. This feature aims to dispel any confusion surrounding the matter.

Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s last capture took place on January 8, 2016. Thereafter, he received a sentence of life imprisonment plus 30 years in a maximum security prison in the United States. This effectively rules out the possibility of Guzmán leaving prison.

Guzmán’s final trial and subsequent sentence came down in July 2019, following his extradition from Mexico to the United States in January 2017. As the former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, Guzmán faced a raft of charges, including drug trafficking, money laundering, conspiracy to commit murder, and other felonies, all of which he was found guilty of.

So where did Guzmán’s last arrest take place?

¿Cuándo va a salir El Chapo de la cárcel?
El Chapo was last arrested in Los Mochis, Sinaloa

The answer is Los Mochis, Sinaloa.

On January 8, 2016, Guzmán was apprehended in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico. The arrest was the result of an operation carried out by Mexican security forces, which culminated in an armed standoff at Guzmán’s hideout. Following his arrest, the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel was extradited to the United States to answer the aforementioned charges related to drug trafficking.

How many times has Guzmán been apprehended?

¿Cuándo va a salir El Chapo de la cárcel?
El Chapo Guzmán has been arrested three times

The answer to that is three.

Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán proved to be elusive during his criminal career, having been captured three times in total:

  • His first capture occurred on June 9, 1993, in Guatemala.
  • His second capture took place on February 22, 2014, in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico.
  • His third and final capture was on January 8, 2016, in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico.

Following his final arrest, Guzmán was subject to various legal proceedings, culminating in his extradition to the United States. There, he was tried and sentenced to life imprisonment. Guzmán is currently serving his sentence in the U.S. maximum security prison known as the Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX) in Florence, Colorado. The facility is also colloquially referred to as the “Supermax” or the “Alcatraz of the Rockies.”