Sen. Ted Cruz wants El Chapo to pay for border wall  02/13/2019 18:47:00 

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Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has an idea for how to fund President Donald Trump's proposed border wall — make convicted Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán pay for it.

While celebrating Guzmán's conviction Tuesday on 10 federal drug charges, Cruz suggested that the billions of dollars the Sinaloa cartel leader pocketed should be used to help secure the United States-Mexico border.

"America’s justice system prevailed today in convicting Joaquín Guzmán Loera, aka El Chapo, on all 10 counts. U.S. prosecutors are seeking $14 billion in drug profits & other assets from El Chapo which should go towards funding our wall to #SecureTheBorder," Cruz wrote in a tweet.

Authorities escort Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, from center, from a plane to a waiting caravan of SUVs at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, N.Y. on Jan. 19, 2017.DEA / AP file

The senator, who last month reintroduced his El Chapo Act, said on his website that the bill would ensure that any money forfeited to the government from El Chapo or other convicted cartel members would help build the border wall.

"Fourteen billion dollars will go a long way to secure our southern border and hinder the illegal flow of drugs, weapons and individuals," Cruz said. "By leveraging any criminally forfeited assets of El Chapo and other murderous drug lords, we can offset the cost of securing our border and make meaningful progress toward delivering on the promises made to the American people."

The bill, formally called The Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order, was first introduced in 2017.

After a trial that lasted three months, Guzmán was convicted Tuesday by a New York jury on charges that included engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, international distribution of drugs, use of firearms and cocaine distribution conspiracy.

He faces life in prison and is set to be sentenced in June.

Minyvonne Burke is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.

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