The craziest details from the "El Chapo" trial

By Jason Silverstein

/ CBS News

El Chapo found guilty on all counts

Shooting bazookas with his family. Burying a rival alive. A naked escape through a sewer system. These were just a few days in the life of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

The notorious Mexican drug lord was convicted Tuesday on all 10 counts in a U.S. federal trial in Brooklyn. But even those crimes — which include international drug distribution, engaging in criminal conspiracy and use of firearms — sound mild compared to the details that emerged in court about El Chapo's life and criminal empire.

The 11-week trial gave unprecedented exposure to the Sinaloa cartel, one of the world's largest drug operations — and revealed an astonishing web of political corruption, runaway wealth and brutal murder. Jurors learned about a criminal underworld wilder than any drug runners on TV. (No wonder Alejandro Edda, the actor who plays El Chapo on "Narcos: Mexico," felt compelled to show up and watch.)

"I firmly believe that if there were a camera in the El Chapo trial, that it would have riveted this nation in a way that probably nothing since O.J. Simpson has riveted the nation," CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman said after the verdict was announced. "It is the fact that truth is stranger than fiction."

The "murder room," and other grisly deaths

Prosecutors said Guzman was at the center of a drug war that had claimed tens of thousands of lives. The trial revealed just how grisly and sadistic some of those deaths were.

One of El Chapo's smugglers, Edgar Galvan, testified that a hitman for the drug lord had a "murder room" in his mansion near the U.S.-Mexico border. Galvan said the room was sound-proofed and had a drain in the floor to make cleanups easier.

Guzman would also get his own hands dirty in murders — and he showed no mercy. Isaias Valdez Rios, a former bodyguard, testified that Guzman once spent three hours beating two men from a rival gang, leaving them "like rag dolls … their bones were totally broken." Guzman later shot the men and ordered that their bodies be thrown into a bonfire.

In another instance, Rios said Guzman kept a rival locked away and burned his body before bringing him to a graveyard with his hands and feet bound. He then shot the man while interrogating him and had him buried while he was still gasping for air.

Bazookas and rifles with the family

Vicente Zambada Niebla, a drug trafficker who worked for Guzman, said El Chapo once fired assault rifles with his family during a vacation. After that, he used an anti-tank bazooka for target practice.

This might not have been the only time Guzman gave guns to his family members. In a text to his wife about one of their daughters, Guzman said he was "going to give her an AK-47 so she can hang with me." The daughter was just six months old at the time.

A naked escape

Guzman pulled off multiple brazen escapes from authorities over the years — even if he had to do it the buff.

One of his mistresses testified that, when Mexican marines tried to bust into a house where they were hiding out in 2014, the kingpin had them escape through a trap door under a bathtub. It led to an underground tunnel where ran they ran through a sewer system and away from the marines. El Chapo was naked the whole time.

Bribing the president (allegedly)

Witnesses testified that Guzman's cartel spent millions of dollars paying off officials who could have stopped them — including an alleged $50 million bribe fund for Mexico's head of public security. The biggest bombshell, though, was a supposed $100 million bribe to former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who left office just two months ago.

Alex Cifuentes, a Columbian drug trafficker who worked with Guzman, testified that the Mexican president and El Chapo negotiated the bribe to ensure Guzman's safety.

A spokesman for Nieto said the bribery claim was "false and defamatory." Another former Mexican president, Felipe Calderon, also denied a bribery allegation that came up in the trial.

El Chapo's extravagance

Prosecutors said Guzman's drug ring raked in billions of dollars — and that came with a lot of perks. According to Zambada, those splurges included a private zoo with lions and tigers that could be visited by a "little train." Guzman had a diamond-encrusted pistol and a gold-plated AK-47. He also had four jets, a yacht and beach houses all across Mexico.

A diamond-encrusted, monogrammed pistol said to be El Chapo's is everything you'd imagine a drug lord's favorite gun might look like: https://t.co/IXrlhRfPOh pic.twitter.com/bOsY240h53

— Law & Crime (@lawcrimenews) November 21, 2018

Plastic surgeries

One subplot that popped up through the trial was the prevalence of plastic surgeries in the drug world. Juan Carlos Ramírez Abadía, a cocaine supplier who testified against Guzman and went by Chupeta (Spanish for "lollipop), had undergone multiple plastic surgeries to avoid detection from authorities. El Chapo also apparently paid for liposuction for an operative who became one of his mistresses.

Chupeta (Lollipop) is Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia, a former Norte del Valle cartel leader who had a ton of plastic surgery while he was a fugitive.

He testified about supplying Chapo with tens of thousands of kilos of cocaine and kept detailed records about their dealings. pic.twitter.com/ob6mq0YUrH

— Keegan Hamilton (@keegan_hamilton) February 11, 2019

First published on February 12, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Tesla self-driving car gets confused and crashes on highway

"The driver was shaken. He was panicked by the accident," police said

updated 1M ago

Massive 20-pound "goldfish" reeled in

It "could possibly be that pet goldfish we flushed when I was 9," the fisherman's sister joked

updated 12M ago

The craziest details from the "El Chapo" trial

Shooting bazookas, burying a rival alive, a naked escape — just to name a few of the twisted revelations

updated 16M ago

REI CEO leaves over an undisclosed relationship

Jerry Stritzke is resigning after violating the outdoor retailer's policy regarding conflicts of interest

updated 20M ago

Porch pirate steals boy's cancer meds

The teen has been battling the disease since he was six months old, and in a matter of minutes, his cancer fight got harder

updated 20M ago

National debt tops $22 trillion for first time in U.S. history

The debt has ballooned by more than $2 trillion in the two years since President Trump took office

updated 24M ago

Trump "very likely" to sign funding deal if it reaches him, official says

The president said he wants to add to an "agreement in principle" reached by congressional negotiators

1H ago

Butterfly Center asks judge to stop border wall activity on its property

"We will not stand idly by as the bulldozers roll in," center director Marianna Trevino Wright said

3H ago

Puerto Rico to take "legal action" if Trump diverts disaster aid

The president is reportedly considering diverting relief efforts funding as part of a national emergency proclamation to secure border wall funds

2H ago

Astronaut Mark Kelly announces Senate bid

"Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" Kelly said as he announced his Senate run as an Arizona Democrat

4H ago

The craziest details from the "El Chapo" trial

Shooting bazookas, burying a rival alive, a naked escape — just to name a few of the twisted revelations

updated 16M ago

21 Savage granted release on bond from ICE custody, lawyers say

The Atlanta-based rapper was arrested by ICE on Feb. 3

updated 16M ago

Queen approves "upskirting" ban in England and Wales

Lawbreakers risk being jailed for two years and being put on the sex offenders register

1H ago

Senator calls for Google, Apple to drop Saudi app that monitors women

Oregon's Ron Wyden says U.S. tech companies shouldn't facilitate "abhorrent surveillance and control of women"

1H ago

Lottery winner claims prize in "Scream" mask to hide identity

Winning the lottery is something to scream about – the man said he fell ill after realizing he had the winning ticket

6H ago

21 Savage granted release on bond from ICE custody, lawyers say

The Atlanta-based rapper was arrested by ICE on Feb. 3

updated 16M ago

Police use pepper balls to disperse Travis Scott fans

"Astroworld" was not the fantasyland fans hoped it would be

6H ago

The 2019 Grammy Awards: Winners and highlights

Female performers dominated the 61st Annual Grammy Awards

21H ago

Alicia Keys shares story about John Mayer splitting his Grammy award with her 15 years ago

Mayer surprised Keys with the same award he split with her in 2004 — after he felt she deserved the trophy, too

22H ago

Grammys 2019: Complete list of winners

Kacey Musgraves took home album of the year; Cardi B made history as the first woman to win best rap album

Feb 11

Senator calls for Google, Apple to drop Saudi app that monitors women

Oregon's Ron Wyden says U.S. tech companies shouldn't facilitate "abhorrent surveillance and control of women"

1H ago

Russian region declares emergency over polar bear "invasion"

It is illegal to hunt the species, already endangered thanks to climate change shrinking their habitat, but a cull has not been ruled out

Feb 11

Crew hunts for fabled U.S. carrier in a graveyard for WWII ships

The explorers who located the wreck of the USS Indianapolis are searching for an aircraft carrier sunk by the Japanese 77 years ago

Feb 11

Hurricanes are intensifying more rapidly and it may be our fault

Storms that quickly strengthen are often the most challenging to predict, and they can cause more damage

Feb 10

Wells Fargo outage: Customers say direct deposits aren't showing up

Banking customers complained about problems accessing their accounts, while the bank vowed to reverse fees

Feb 8

How to confront rising anxiety among young girls

Psychologist Lisa Damour offers practical advise on how adults can help address the "unique pressures" girls face

4H ago

Teen defies mom, gets vaccinated after turning to strangers online

"I question her judgment, but not her care," says Ethan Lindenberger of his mother

9H ago

FDA announces crackdown on illegal dietary supplements

In one case, the FDA found a company claimed its product reduced "symptoms of cognitive decline"

22H ago

Medicare patients face surging costs for some life-saving drugs

Participants in the federal health program often struggle to afford treatments for cancer and other diseases

Feb 11

CBD fans want edibles, but some states are cracking down

States are cracking down on cannabidiol-infused food over safety concerns — some in the industry say it's warranted

Feb 11

REI CEO leaves over an undisclosed relationship

Jerry Stritzke is resigning after violating the outdoor retailer's policy regarding conflicts of interest

updated 20M ago

National debt tops $22 trillion for first time in U.S. history

The debt has ballooned by more than $2 trillion in the two years since President Trump took office

updated 24M ago

After cutting prices, Amazon's Whole Foods is raising them again

Grocery chain cites rising packaging, ingredient and transportation costs for recent move to hike prices

updated 18M ago

Smaller tax refunds could ding economic growth

The period's growth was already forecast to be low, and shrinking refunds could depress it even more

1H ago

Betting on the Oscars: Now you can do it in New Jersey

It's the first state to allow legal wagering on one of pop culture's biggest events

1H ago

Porch pirate steals boy's cancer meds

The teen has been battling the disease since he was six months old, and in a matter of minutes, his cancer fight got harder

updated 20M ago

Video of officer calling black father "boy" sparks investigation

Records show Deputy James Cady has been investigated before by the sheriff's office in Florida for use of force and conduct concerns

1H ago

Man urged to turn himself in after allegedly faking his death

Mississippi woman tells ex-husband to "just do the right thing for once" months after his boat was found

3H ago

Arrest made in case of woman found dead and bound in suitcase

Valerie Reyes was found stuffed in a suitcase in Greenwich, Connecticut

4H ago

"El Chapo" guilty: Notorious drug lord convicted by U.S. jury

3-month trial was packed with tales of grisly killings, cocaine hidden in jalapeno cans, jewel-encrusted guns and a naked escape with his mistress through a tunnel

3H ago