Reputation precedes 'El Chapo' as U.S. trial approaches

08 November, 2018, 01:02 | Author: Bert Pena
  • 'El Chapo' Trial: Trial of alleged drug kingpin to begin in US

The judge struck off two women after they raised security concerns about presiding over the proceedings, expected to cost millions and turn into the most expensive federal trial in United States history. As a result, U.S. District Court Judge Brian Cogan announced that a plan to keep the high-profile inmate stationary in one location could be developed, but did not confirm its existence, according to USA Today.

El Chapo notoriously escaped from confinement in Mexico twice, which is in part the reason for the extreme security measures surrounding his confinement and extra measures during any of his transportation. There are extra precautions being taken for witnesses and jurors to ensure their safety, as well.

His trial is expected to last two to four months.

Jury selection will take place amid tight security conditions reserved only for the most risky defendants.

Although the charges in the case all relate to drug trafficking, prosecutors are also expected to introduce evidence that Guzman was involved in multiple murder plots in the course of his career, including in wars with rival cartels.

The marathon Brooklyn federal trial, which will cost millions of dollars and is expected to last more than four months, will see Guzman face the USA justice system after twice escaping prison in Mexico, once hidden in a laundry cart and then slipping down a tunnel that reached his prison shower.

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Prosecutors describe Guzman as one of the most risky and feared drug kingpins, who between 1989 and 2014 ran the world's largest drug trafficking organization. "Probably not", said Mr Rob Heroy, a North Carolina lawyer who has defended other Mexican drug barons.

A judge is keeping the jury anonymous to protect them from intimidation.

The now imprisoned brothers paid a steep price for flipping: Prosecutors say in 2009 their father was murdered in Mexico by a cartel hit team. U.S. Marshals will escort them to and from the federal court every day.

It is alleged that he spent a quarter of a century smuggling more than 155 tonnes of cocaine into the United States. Prosecutors say the Sinaloa Cartel, named for Guzman's home state, smuggled more than 200 tons of cocaine into the United States. Some of them are being held in special jail units, while others are in witness protection programs.

After Guzman was brought to NY, authorities here decided he should be housed in solitary confinement in a high-security wing of a federal jail in Manhattan that has held notorious terrorists and mobsters. Mexican authorities then recaptured the fugitive in January 2016.

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