A U.S. District Court in Brooklyn has upheld the conviction of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman after Guzman’s attorneys argued in court he was denied a right to a fair trial. Guzman was convicted in 2019 on 10 counts including engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, murder conspiracy, drug trafficking, and firearms charges.

The court ruled that Judge Brian Cogan ruled with “diligence and fairness” while sitting on Guzman’s trial. The panel concluded Guzman’s claims had no merit. 

"The District Court did not err in concluding that Guzman was able to assist in his own defense and receive a fair trial, despite the conditions of his pretrial confinement. The conditions of Guzman's pretrial confinement, harsh as they were, do not provide a basis for disturbing his conviction," the decision from the 2nd Court of Appeals said.  

Guzman was the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel who imported more than a million kilograms of cocaine and hundreds of kilograms of heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine into the United States. The cartel also committed murders, kidnappings, torture, and bribed officials to control territory throughout Mexico to run their illicit enterprise. Guzman was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years and was ordered to pay $12.6 billion in forfeiture. 

Guzman’s attorney Marc Fernich says he is likely to appeal his client's case to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

“While respecting the Court's ruling, we're disappointed that substantial allegations of grave jury misconduct continue to be swept under the rug and left wholly unexamined in a case of historic proportion — all, it appears, because of the defendant's matchless notoriety, Fernich said in a statement. 

Guzman had previously been listed on Forbes billionaires list and escaped from prison twice in 2001 and 2015. Guzman’s wife Emma Coronel Aispuro pled guilty last year to drug trafficking and money laundering charges and was sentenced to three years in prison.