July 3 (UPI) -- A federal judge in New York denied Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's appeal for a new trial Wednesday, citing a "mountain range of evidence."
U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan made the ruling four months after a jury found Guzman guilty on murder conspiracy, drug-trafficking and money-laundering charges.
Prosecutors said Guzman amassed billions of dollars for smuggling cocaine from Colombia to the United States. Under Guzman's leadership, the Sinaloa Cartel was responsible for 90 percent of cocaine and heroin in the United States and Europe.
To facilitate that supply chain, prosecutors said Guzman paid millions in bribes to corrupt officials, from the local level all the way up to the federal and foreign governments.
Guzman's lawyers appealed, saying jury violations and prejudice prevented a fair trial. The legal team cited a Vice News report that at least six jurors from the anonymous panel violated the court's instructions by actively following media coverage of the case.
The report also said the jurors became aware of allegations that were never brought to court -- including a former henchman's allegation that Guzman drugged and raped young girls -- as well as discussed social media reports about the case before evidence was complete and lied to Cogan when he questioned them.
Cogan said the jurors would have come to the same verdict regardless.
"A rational, hypothetical, average jury would certainly have convicted defendant of the crimes charged in the indictment based on the overwhelming amount of direct evidence presented during trial that defendant did, in fact, commit those crimes," Cogan wrote.