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Top Lieutenant of “el Chapo” Guzman Sentenced In Federal Court

November 25, 2014  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips
Top Lieutenant of “el Chapo” Guzman Sentenced In Federal Court Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman

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A U.S. federal district court judge sentenced a captain of imprisoned Mexican drug king Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman to 22 years in prison on Monday. Prosecutors say he helped operate a massive $1 billion dollar drug trafficking empire.

Alfredo Vasquez-Hernandez, 59, stood in front of the judge in a Chicago courtroom, as he listened through an interpreter as Chief U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo’s read his sentence, saying, ‘I tell you on behalf of all citizens of Chicago, we are tired of this drug trafficking”.

The case is being hailed as a major victory by the U.S. government against one of the most violent and powerful drug cartels in the world.

“El Chapo” remains in a Mexican jail, officials remain undecided whether they will extradite him to Chicago to face charges.

Before his sentence was read, Hernandez apologized to the court and to his family saying, ‘I ask you for forgiveness and for you to have pity on me.

Defense attorney Paul Brayman argued for Castillo to sentence Hernandez to the mandatory minimum 10-year sentence, saying ‘anything more… is a death sentence’ for his client.

Hernandez pleaded guilty early this year to possessing heroin and cocaine with intent to distribute.

Hernandez’s 43-year-old son, Gabriel Vasquez, told reporters at the sentencing that the punishment was too harsh.

‘He’s not the monster that everyone says he is,’ an emotional Vasquez said. ‘He’s a family man.’

During the hearing Castillo asked the question more than once: ‘Who is this defendant?’

The most damning testimony came from two Chicago area twins who were Sinaloa cartel associates that flipped for the feds, Pedro and Margarito Flores.

The brothers pointed to Hernandez, calling him a close friend of Guzman who used his logistical skills to traffick tons of drugs using the railway system from Mexico to Chicago hidden in furniture.

The defense tried to label him as a mere auto repairman who got caught up in a one time drug deal.

They attacked the credibility of the Flores twins, saying they exaggerated Hernandez’s role in the cartel to get a better deal with prosecutors.

According to the Daily Mail, Judge Castillo stated there were legitimate questions about the credibility of the twins, he said he would not factor in whether Hernandez was or wasn’t a ranking cartel figure, saying it would be unfair ‘to let the entire ominous presence of ‘El Chapo’ Guzman’ influence the sentencing.

However, Castillo also said he didn’t believe the defense’s claim that Hernandez was some poor shlep who happen to stumble into the one deal that got him extradited in 2012 from Mexico to Chicago.

‘I’m not going to sit here and think for one second this was the first time you happened to do this,’ he said.

Wiretap recordings and additional evidence provided from 2008 was damning enough to bring forth the indictments of Hernandez and 10 others, including Guzman and the Flores twins themselves.

Hernandez is the first to be sentenced.

The Flores brothers turned state’s witness, testifying that they trafficked tons of illegal drugs for “el Chapo” Guzman, Hernandez and other high ranking members of the Sinaloa drug cartel in several cities, including Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Washington.

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