At the end of the last decade, Forbes magazine included him on its list of the world’s wealthiest men, with a fortune estimated at $ 1 billion dollars. Today, Mexican drug lord Joaquín Guzmán Loera, better known as ‘El Chapo’ is claiming ruin.
As a result, the infamous drug lord wants U.S. taxpayers to foot the bill for his defense.
U.S. prosecutors maintain Guzman sat at the apex of the drug trade for three decades, amassing a multi-billion dollar fortune as the leader of Mexico’s Sinaloa Federation Cartel, considered to be the most prolific narcotics trafficking criminal organization in the world.
However, despite his alleged fortune, the accused billionaire drug lord is arguing that he doesn’t have money to hire a private lawyer and must rely on a couple of federal public defenders to provide his legal defense free of charge.
The assertions have U.S. prosecutors Robert Capers, and Arthur Wyatt puzzled and argued against allowing ‘El Chapo’s’ use of public defenders to represent him in the case.
“We do not think Mr. Guzman will qualify for this kind of benefit,” the Justice Department attorneys argued during Friday’s hearing in Brooklyn Federal Court.
The alleged cartel leader was extradited to Brooklyn in January to stand trial for a 17-count federal indictment on multiple charges including leading an ongoing organized criminal enterprise, drug trafficking, conspiracy to commit murder, money laundering and arms trafficking.
In a letter sent to District Court Judge Brian Cogan, the U.S. Attorney for Brooklyn’s Eastern District requested the judge investigate the financial situation of ‘El Chapo’.
However, Cogan dismissed the prosecution’s motion and made Guzman’s poverty claim official by ordering him to sign a financial statement declaring it was impossible for him to afford a private lawyer, according to Mexico’s Proceso Magazine.
“If the government does not think this statement is forthcoming, they should investigate to find out if the defendant has the money to pay for his defense,” the judge said in his ruling.
In addition to a life sentence, the U.S. government are also seeking $14 billion dollars in asset forfeitures, which prosecutors maintain is the product of his illicit criminal activities, according to the 33-page superseding indictment filed in Brooklyn in May 2016.
However, his legal team maintained their client lacks sufficient funds to hire private lawyers, much less will he be able to pay the $14 billion the US government are attempting to seize.
Meanwhile, during Friday’s proceeding, public defense attorney Michelle Gelernt asked Corgan to relax the strict security measures at the Manhattan Correction Center (MCC), which Guzman’s legal team complained are too harsh.
‘El Chapo’ remains under round the clock constant surveillance, is only allowed one hour of exercise and is also prohibited from receiving visitors including his wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro who was present during the hearing.
“The government has prevented him from having contact with his family and his Mexican lawyer,” Gelernt said.
“We ask the court for permission allowing Mrs. Guzmán to visit him or talk to him on the phone. She (Emma Coronel) is present but wasn’t granted the authorization to visit her husband. We can’t even give him a glass of water during our meetings,” the defense attorney argued before the judge
However, Cogan chose to leave the matter in the hands of prison officials at MCC citing the drug lord’s two previous escapes from Mexican maximum prisons as one of the primary reasons for the heightened security.
“I will refer to the prison authorities to authorize who can or can not enter. It is evident that they are taking additional security protocols. And we all know the circumstances surrounding why they act with these cautionary measures,” the judge said.
Guzman’s next court hearing is slated for May 5th.
This post was updated on .
This is largely bullshit.
He has not even filled out or signed a CJA form as of yet. The court requested one at the hearing this week.
His family wants to hire an atty for him.
Also, he cannot use illegal funds to pay for defense. He would have to prove it was gained legally. Which is why I am sure "his family" want to hire an atty for him.
There is some sort of conflict involving a possible conflict because off "5 potential witnesses"
His defense is in sort of a tentative stance. the court appointed him a curcio counsel, i think he/she is to advise chapo of a possible conflict.
I have the complete transcript from the hearing. I am waiting for my fave legal mind to make it layman clear for me before I make a post.
they also allude to the adding of charges on the extradition after he arrived.
I will get something up as so as possible............................PAZ....C
PS... I uploaded the CJA form on my scribd page. It will be interesting to see how he even attempts to complete the form. and his wife....his legal wife is wife number 1, she is who he states is his wife each time he is arrested in Mexico. the form is signed under penalty of prejury.
The way I see it.... the more people that don't like me, the less people I have to please
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by ToPHeR
Poor Chapo, he wants a public defender (PDs) lawyer ("pubic pretenders" in jail argot) are often overworked, lack resources to mount good defenses, and/or lack of experience or motivation, or are just plain incompetent. Often, they make "plea bargains" that paid lawyers would never make. I know this from talking to some PDs. Chapo must not be AS SMART AS HE IS PAINTED.
My point is that "pobre" Chapo needs a high powered criminal defense attorney to fight his charges. What to do? HE NEEDS HELP!
Hey, I got an idea! Why don't we hold Yard sales and do car washes to gin up money so he can have a good paid private attorney for his defense?
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