El Chapo’s Trial Post/Updates

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Re: El Chapo’s Trial Post/Updates

Chivis
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from new filing


 With the exception of perhaps one cooperator, all the other expected cooperators are detained and
safely in protective custody. Their families are also presumably in safe locations.


one not in custody?
 
The way I see it.... the more people that don't like me, the less people I have to please
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Re: El Chapo’s Trial Post/Updates

Chivis
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Mica


they have decided to hear the continuance on the same day as status which is Tuesday.
 
The way I see it.... the more people that don't like me, the less people I have to please
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Re: El Chapo’s Trial Post/Updates

Mica
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I am on plane and just read this on my phone.  

Sorry for not posting the story now @chivis, but I have to share the link and tomorrow will post.

This story makes some new allegations that I have not seen before.  It somewhat hints at Mayo turning in Chapo and was with him at the end, before being arrested for the last time.  Also, it adds Lic’s brother to the witness list.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/03/el-chapo-trial-betrayal-sinaloa-cartel
J
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Re: El Chapo’s Trial Post/Updates

J
This is an engaging, if familiar, long form article, good for a primer before the trial even for someone who has followed him for over 10 years.

it does have some outrageous and absurd assertions though, including Mayo Zambada was with Chapo in Los Mochis.

"Vicentillo was arrested in Mexico City in March 2009, after flamboyant appearances on social media typical of ‘Narco Juniors’, but anathema to their fathers."

This isn't and was never true either.  The only pics of Vicentillo are those Antrax ones, which are far from flashy, and were not public at the time of his arrest.
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Re: El Chapo’s Trial Post/Updates

Chivis
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could have been a good article, but sadly flawed and at times ridiculous.
 
The way I see it.... the more people that don't like me, the less people I have to please
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Re: El Chapo’s Trial Post/Updates

Mica
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Mica - Following up, here is the story.  It is a fun read, but as Chivis has pointed out, there are some inacurricies.

Why was the world’s biggest druglord extradited to the US after decades of protection at every level of power in Mexico?

by Ed Vulliamy

The bus heaves through frayed barrios on the edge of Culiacán – the state capital of Sinaloa in western Mexico – on to the open road and mountains of the Sierra Madre Occidental, heading for remote Badiraguato, gateway to the mountain forest terrain they call ‘El Chapo country’. It’s the birthplace of the man standing trial in New York on 5 November: Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, reputedly the world’s biggest and richest druglord.

In a book about El Chapo – entitled The Last Narco (there’s no chance of that) – Malcolm Beith writes of the curious surprise among fellow passengers at Beith’s presence on the same route a decade ago: “it’s not every day that a white man or any foreigner ride this bus into the hills”.

Nowadays, everyone knows exactly why you are there.

I have no one to meet – my only contact around here, the journalist Javier Valdez Cárdenas, was slain by the mafia in 2017. Mayor Lorena Pérez Oliva is “unavailable” and no one at the friendly municipal building or Hector Olea cultural centre wants to give an interview about the man they call El Señor.

“Why are you here?” asks a man in Taqueria Yaretzi, this time not friendly at all, but there is no point in pretending to be on a leisurely hike. “Porque quiero ver donde creció Chapo Guzmán” – I want to see where he grew up. “Claro que sí” – but of course – comes the reply, stony-faced, and that was it.

At breakfast in Hotel El Moro the next morning, a funny man called Hector Valencuelos wishes ‘we had the kind of tourism they get in Medellín!’ No one has yet told him the Colombian city, in its wisdom, has closed the infamous Pablo Escobar museum.

“If he gave us even the small change, our town wouldn’t look like this,” a waitress at El Cerrito restaurant says.


The trial of El Chapo Shorty Guzmán comes after a tsunami of TV, films and books that have burnished his credentials as the world’s premier drug lord.

That folklore must now be proved, this time through 300,000 pages of six indictments from all over the US compiled by prosecutors in the New York eastern district, whom El Chapo must answer to at the Cadman Plaza courthouse in Brooklyn.

There are thousands of wiretaps, witness statements, an extradition request and memoranda for pre-trial detention. The Guardian has exhaustively surveyed the extensive documentation, and spoken to prosecutors and law enforcement north and south of the border. What emerges is a picture of what we can expect as the trial unfolds, details of betrayal and treason within the cartel and the shifting demands of political power on both sides of the border.

The court will hear how young Guzmán hailed from the wild “Golden Triangle” between Sinaloa, Chihuahua and Durango: about the sheer volume of cocaine Guzmán was able to procure from Colombia and shift north at speed, using existing marijuana and heroin routes, for which he initially earned the nom de narco El Rapido.

We’ll hear how El Chapo’s Sinaloa cartel outgrew the Colombians, to supply an estimated 90% of cocaine and heroin consumed in the United States and Europe, and a lion’s share worldwide.

Prosecutors will explain how Guzmán paid multimillion dollar bribes to corrupt officials “at every level of local, municipal, state, national and foreign government”, according to one supporting memo in the New York indictment. One police chief took $1m in cash to protect a shipment. Guzmán widened the horizons and possibilities of money laundering to make No 41 on Forbes’ list of the most influential people in the world.

And of course we’ll hear about how Guzmán became the master of tunnelling drugs beneath the US-Mexico border and himself out of jail before he was recaptured a last time in January 2016 at Los Mochis.

Behind the oft-repeated adventure of Guzmán’s rise is the less well known story of his demise – the how and why of his capture: the timing of and reasons for his delivery to the United States after decades of protection at every level of power in Mexico.

A dark family drama
The late, great writer Charles Bowden posited in a book about Ciudad Juárez – ‘Murder City’ – that the problem with commentary on Mexico’s violence is that there is no control room, no place in which someone – anyone – really knows what’s happening.

Mexico’s narco war has no black box – where the definitive account of an aircraft crash is contained – so everything one writes about it includes conjecture. But an investigation by the Guardian – talking to sources in law enforcement north and south of the border, to narco-observers, reporters on the ground and insiders, and surveying thousands of pages of documents in Mexico and the US – reveals some of the possible elements in a dark family drama that makes even the Neftlix narrative look tame.

Guzmán’s Sinaloa cartel was never a tight-knit organisation – more a federation that understood the need for alliances and franchises in order to reach across Mexico, the Americas and the world. It was helped by the fact that elements within the Mexican state saw the cartel’s power as guarantor of a “Pax Mafiosa” that enabled it to exercise control, and go after rival – even more ruthless – newer syndicates like Los Zetas. But with time, the Sinaloa cartel’s strengths became weaknesses, as it overstretched even its own limits, becoming an organisation in which no one knew who to trust.

Law enforcement in the US and Mexico have exploited these fractures and competing interests, picking off erstwhile allies of Guzmán, and turning them against him. Over many years, this has been the strategy behind some of the more dramatic testimony we can expect at trial. The careers of two crucial lieutenants in the cartel above all explain the backstage betrayal and final capture of Guzmán – one is certain to testify, as is the son of the other. These witnesses will blow open the secrets of, and reveal the faultlines and frictions within, what was until recently seen as an impregnable criminal corporation.

They are: the enigmatic figure of Ismael Zambada García – El Mayo – who many believe to be man who delivered Guzmán. And Dámaso López Nuñez, known as El Licienciado or El Lic, because of his qualification in law. El Lic used his contacts to organise El Chapo’s escape from the high-security jail Puente Grande in 1993 – but El Lic is now in captivity himself, in the US, and among Guzmán’s most dangerous enemies.

The former lieutenants – now enemies?
El Mayo – Ismael Zambada García

El Mayo was a cofounder of the cartel, who served since the early 1980s in all the offshoots of the old Guadalajara syndicate in Juárez and Tijuana. He was considered to be the cartel’s accountant and business strategist, more cautious than El Chapo. While Guzmán built his empire on an ability to shift vast quantities of drugs, El Mayo realised that volume had to be controlled in order to maintain its price. The court in Brooklyn is likely to hear how El Mayo streamlined distribution networks through the US and Europe, and perfected money-laundering arrangements. After 50 years in the business, El Mayo has never seen the inside of a jail cell.

Three differences are said to have estranged El Mayo from the chief. First, according to several sources, the simple fact that at the time of his seizure in Mazatlán in 2014 (an El Mayo strongold), Guzmán had groomed not El Mayo as successor, but his rival deputy, López Nuñez.

Second, while El Mayo remained in the shadows (apart from one interview with the publisher of Proceso magazine), Guzmán criss-crossed Mexico making daring appearances that became folklore.

Then, famously, he went a step too far: everyone knows the story of how actress Kate del Castillo caught Guzmán’s eye, and became involved in discussions about a biopic that led to a meeting between El Chapo and Sean Penn. The Guardian has learned that the very existence of this proposal infuriated El Mayo; who else was in the film? Was he? Were the carefully-arranged contacts at high levels of state and military? For El Mayo, narco-traffic was business, not show business.

Finally, according to Mexican federal sources and Roberto Saviano, El Mayo is said to have urged Guzmán that plans needed to be laid to hand over cartel control to capable lieutenants from a new generation, as the founding fathers aged (El Mayo himself is reportedly unwell) and reeled from arrests and extraditions, and lest “they take it on their own terms, at their own risk” (said mafia expert and author Roberto Saviano, quoting a source close to El Mayo in the Excelsior newspaper).

El Mayo is said to have his own state and military contacts at a deep level, which – like Guzmán’s – not only made it possible for the Sinaloa cartel to spread, protected, but also for quarters of Guzmán’s protection to be lifted once El Mayo removed it. It is said that El Mayo was with Guzmán when he was finally lifted in Los Mochis – that they were together when Guzmán initially escaped the raid, disappearing into a sewer. And that when they appeared, to hijack a red Ford Focus from a woman and her child, covered in grime, El Mayo gave her back her purse. El Chapo was then captured, El Mayo not.

But there was another key adjutant to Guzmán – and this one is in custody, now likely to turn the tables against his former mentor and Capo, a former druglord – now snitch.

El Lic – López Nuñez

Law graduate El Licenciado López Nuñez is the son of a senior figure in the Institutional Revolutionary party, which ruled Mexico for 72 years until 2000, and again from 2012 until an election this year. He became a police officer and joined the Sinaloa state prosecutor’s office, later the federal prison service, specialising in high-risk, high-security jails including Puente Grande, “Big Bridge”, wherein El Chapo was held – and held sway – until his famous escape in 2001. It was there El Lic ‘defected’ to the cartel and facilitated the escape, since which the prison has been known among Mexicans as Puerta Grande – big door.

By the time Guzmán was re-arrested in February 2014 in Mazatlán (an El Mayo stronghold), López Nuñez had apparently been his designated heir. He had, however – according to a US indictment – “constructed his own criminal structure”, and begun an online campaign against Guzmán’s sons, Iván Archivaldo and Jésus Alfredo, calling them “sapitos” – snitches. He even ordered them kidnapped in the city of Puerta Vallarta, their freedom negotiated by El Mayo. In June 2016, 150 gunmen reportedly dispatched by El Licienciado attacked the home of Guzmán’s mother Consuelo Loera.

Now, López Nuñez and Guzmán will face one another across the courtroom.

Before he could assert his authority, López Nuñez was arrested – in May 2017 – and extradited to the US that July. Now, he is cooperating, proffering details on an indictment from 2013 that accuses him of “a significant role in international drugs trafficking, and handling drugs” worth $280m. El Licenciado, held at an undisclosed location, is expected to go far in condemning the man he once sprung from jail. This is a family affair for López Nuñez.

In August 2017, El Lic’s brother Álvaro López was taken by DEA agents at the border crossing between Nogales, Sonora and Nogales, Arizona – he is also likely to testify. The previous month, El Licenciado’s son Damas López Serrano, Mini-Lic, had given himself up to US authorities at the crossing further west, between Mexicali and Calexico, Calfornia. In January 2018, he pleaded guilty to drug-smuggling charges in San Diego, where prosecutors tell the Guardian that he has also turned state’s evidence, due to testify against Guzmán. The former head of international operations for the DEA, Mike Vigil, says Mini-Lic could provide “a virtual encyclopedia” on the cartel.

The Guardian understands that López Nuñez is now engaged in trying to secure what one source called “a package deal” whereby the whole family – himself, his brother and son – serves less time in exchange for Guzmán never seeing a puerta grande again.

So Guzmán will recognise many familiar and formerly dear faces in court. And among those disappointments and betrayals, few will be as painful as that of a boy Guzmán nurtured like one of his own sons: El Vicentillo, Vicente Zambada Niebla, El Mayo’s son.

El Vicentillo – Vicente Zambada Niebla
Vicentillo was arrested in Mexico City in March 2009, after flamboyant appearances on social media typical of ‘Narco Juniors’, but anathema to their fathers. According to a US indictment unsealed in 2013, he had moved more than $1bn-worth of drugs into the US and operated a vast distribution and money-laundering network centered on the Sinaloa’s fortress city of Chicago. Prosecutors in north Illinois say Vicentillo “inundated Chicago with heroin and cocaine”.

Vicentillo is among the biggest catches in the prosecutor’s net. The indictment is all-encompassing: he was at his father’s and Guzmán’s side since the early 1990s, with top-level connections to Colombia, responsibility for ship- and submarine-loads of cocaine and overseeing the transfer of vast quantities of weaponry and money.

The extent of El Vicentillo’s collaboration was sufficient for the US to commute – in 2014 – his life sentence to a mere ten years. What remains to be seen under cross-examination is whether and how his betrayal of Guzmán furthers the interests of his father, and sheds light on what role Zambada Sr played in El Chapo’s capture.

El Chapo’s fall
There is little doubt that Guzmán enjoyed and paid for protection at the highest levels of Mexican politics, military and law enforcement.

A combination of corruption and mutual interests helped his Sinaloa cartel pick off rivals one by one along the western stretches of the US border to achieve domination of drug markets across the Americas and Europe while Mexico itself descended into an abyss of violence after 2006. For his allies and guardians in power, Guzmán kept a peace of sorts against newer, wilder, uncontrollable syndicates and gangs – a best bad option.

What was it, though, that caused Guzmán’s protection on high to crumble – the only explanation for the assault on his associates? And why in 2014 and 2016? What was the political calculation in the winding narrative of US-Mexican relations? Several sources and some reporters mention the great sell-off of Mexican oil, and vast privatisation of the state-owned Pemex company, policy pillar of the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto, and major opportunity for American energy interests.

Former Mexican attorney general Arely Gómez says that the Castillo-Penn episode was “an essential element” in the betrayal and capture of Guzmán; he refers specifically to tracing the phones of lawyers acting for Guzmán during the negotiations. (On CBS , Penn dismissed the claim as a “myth”). But a source close to Castillo adds a further dimension to the story missing from that flamboyantly broadcast so far.

Guzmán reportedly confided in Castillo that he was frustrated by the Sinaloa cartel’s falling behind Los Zetas in the burgeoning business of illicit tapping of oil – mostly along the Zeta-controlled Gulf coast – for domestic and US markets, and of his interest in redressing that balance by conjoining the Pemex privatisation with investment from cartel proceeds – “Chapoil”.

Sources within the Mexican attorney general’s office confirm that this was true, and of concern not only to them, but majorly to the US. “It was bad enough to have Guzmán escape from jail in 2014, but a step too far in the matter of Guzmán’s corruption of some areas of Mexican public life for him to claim a stake in the oil business,” a former US diplomatic source with experience in the privatisations told the Guardian.

The handing over of Guzmán on the final day of Barack Obama’s presidency, within hours of the inauguration of Donald Trump, was “not devoid of gesture’’, said the former diplomat.

Jorge Chabat of the CIDE research institute of Mexico City says that: “the fact we delivered him on Obama’s last day is a clear political message that says this is a government we have long collaborated with. By not sending him to Trump after the inauguration is a subtle statement saying: we could not do this for you in the future unless we have a good relationship. If not, there won’t be other powerful narco-traffickers extradited.” No major extradition has followed Guzmán’s.

These betrayals, arrests and extradition – far from calming the situation – unleashed a wave of internecine violence across Sinaloa, and all of Mexico.

The week after Guzmán’s extradition saw a surge in violence across Culiacán especially – 20 were killed there in one weekend. 2017 became the deadliest year on record in Mexico’s narco-nightmare, and this year began more brutally than ever in Ciudad Juárez, – 27 murdered within the first three days of 2018 – and Tijuana, with 90 killed in three weeks.


A stark irony hangs over the trial in New York. It was at the US headquarters of the HSBC bank across the East River from Cadman Plaza that hundreds of millions of dollars of El Chapo’s proceeds were embraced and cleaned for circulation across the “legal” economy. (Wachovia bank did the same with even greater amounts, as admitted to the US court in southern Florida.) HSBC’s punishments were an admonition and fine payable. No one was confined to a cell in Brooklyn.

The Mexican expert in money-laundering Edgardo Buscaglia calculates that “Guzmán has a hand in, or controls, some 3,500 companies across four continents.” Where are they, and will they come to trial?

An indictment of Guzmán filed in El Paso in 2012 accuses him of running “a vast money-laundering apparatus”, but fails to specify where. Another indictment in southern Florida filed in 2014, after the Wachovia settlement was secured there, lists 92 wire transfers conducted by associates of Guzmán, between 2003 and 2007 through a branch of Bank of America in Oklahoma City. Will that paper trail be followed, and the bank prosecuted for money-laundering?

Few in Colombia or Mexico rue the killing of Pablo Escobar or the extradition of Guzmán respectively, but many citizens of both countries will see in this trial one of a brown-skinned criminal by a gringo court that hunts less avidly after its own high-flying crooks.

Only one thing is certain: El Chapo Guzmán is not “the last narco”. The mass murder, disappearances, slaying of journalists and suffering may have intensified on the ground in Mexico since El Chapo’s arrest and fragmenting of the Plaza but there has been no interruption in the flow of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine into the US and Europe – in fact, the supply is greater than ever – yet no commodity in the world trades at such a steady, reliable price.

Among the many things Guzmán shares with El Mayo Zambada García is that each granted only one interview. Zambada García told Julio Scherer, publisher of Proceso, that he had a lifelong fear of incarceration, but pondered: “One day I may decide to turn myself in, so they can shoot me, and there’ll be general euphoria. But we all know that at the end of the day, nothing will have changed.” Talking to Sean Penn, Guzmán said: “this will never end”.
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Re: El Chapo’s Trial Post/Updates

Mica
In reply to this post by Mica
NY Post

Nearly a decade after a Brooklyn grand jury handed down the first of many indictments against him, jury selection will finally begin Monday for notorious cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera.

An anonymous pool of potential jurors — gleaned from 1,000 New Yorkers who were sent a 31-page questionnaire — will arrive in Brooklyn federal court, where they will lay eyes on the runty drug baron himself as they are probed as potential panelists at Guzman Loera’s trial on drug-conspiracy charges.

The jurors selected will be transported to and from the courthouse by federal guards.

As a reason for such precautions, Brooklyn federal judge Brian Cogan has echoed prosecutors’ points that the Sinaloa Cartel is known to “[employ] ‘sicarios,’ ” or hit men, who have carried out hundreds of acts of violence against rivals.

Opening statements are expected Nov. 13.
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Re: El Chapo’s Trial Post/Updates

Mica
1,000 jury questionnaires were disseminated across the Eastern District of New York ahead of today's proceedings. Some 920 were returned. Unclear how many potential jurors - all of whom are anonymous - will arrive for questioning today.
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Mica
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Re: El Chapo’s Trial Post/Updates

Mica

One of the potential jury members for ChapoGuzman's trial is an imitator of Michael Jackson. 5 people have been disqualified. 1 for considering that drugs are bad and others for reading news related to "El Chapo"
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Re: El Chapo’s Trial Post/Updates

Mica

Chapo was present in the room where the jury selection process began for his trial. Guzman was not handcuffed and wore a navy blue suit with an unbuttoned shirt on his neck.
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Re: El Chapo’s Trial Post/Updates

Mica
Down to 100 candidates.  Jurors and alternates to be selected from this group.
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Re: El Chapo’s Trial Post/Updates

Parro
Article about El Mayo Zambada, and his struggle to control the Sinaloa Cartel, after El Chapo's arrest.  This article is not specific to the trial and updates, but is directly related to El Chapo's arrest and current status of CDS.

Source: https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/el-chapos-day-in-court-begins/
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Re: El Chapo’s Trial Post/Updates

Mica
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They are lining up for day 2. https://twitter.com/i/status/1059798438806732800
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Re: El Chapo’s Trial Post/Updates

Mica


REUTERS A box used to monitor multiple threats in the District Court of New York .
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Re: El Chapo’s Trial Post/Updates

Mica


NEW YORK (TNS) — Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman started his trafficking trial in Brooklyn on Monday with fortress-like security, jittery jurors and multiple mentions of the actor Sean Penn.

It was the first day of jury selection in the long-awaited proceeding, with U.S. District Judge Brian M. Cogan quizzing the first group of prospective panelists.

“I don’t know any of your names. The lawyers who are sitting here don’t know any of your names. The defendant doesn’t know your names,” the judge said. “No one here knows who you are ... I did this out of respect for your privacy. This is a high-profile trial.”

One excused juror admitted she was skittish.

“What scares me is that him and his family will come after jurors and their families,” the middle-aged woman said, citing an article she read in a newspaper. “He has two sons and they’re conducting his business and they’re looking (for jurors).”

A different woman told the judge she learned from news reports that Penn interviewed Guzman while he was a wanted man in 2015.

The woman said she also heard security was so tight leading up to the trial, authorities closed the Brooklyn Bridge when Guzman was transferred from his high-security cell in Manhattan to the federal courthouse.

Cogan asked the woman if she could set aside any curiosity about Penn’s meeting with Guzman.

“There might be nothing about Sean Penn in this trial. Will that leave you wondering, ‘What’s this about Sean Penn?’” the judge asked.

The woman laughed and said it wouldn’t be an issue.

The judge said another prospective juror wrote in his questionnaire that he had some opinions about the justice system dating back to Michael Jackson’s California criminal case in which the “King of Pop” ultimately beat charges he molested a minor.

The man invoked Jackson’s case and also said he had an upcoming tour that might interfere with the trial. The judge asked him to explain what the tour was.

“I’m actually an official Michael Jackson impersonator,” the man responded, eliciting some laughter.

Prosecutors said they wanted the man excused for cause because they worried there aren’t many Jackson impersonators in the area and the man’s anonymity and safety could be at risk.

Guzman, 61, appeared relaxed and engaged during the proceeding Monday, writing notes and whispering with his defense team.

He wore a blue suit, no tie, and a white shirt unbuttoned several notches, disco-style.

He later buttoned the shirt a little higher, apparently in response to people in the courtroom noting the flamboyant fashion statement.

The accused head of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel got shot down last week in his last-minute bid to delay the trial.

He has pleaded not guilty to 17 counts of drug trafficking, murder conspiracy, weapons offenses and money laundering.

In his Penn interview published in Rolling Stone magazine, Guzman boasted he was the world’s most successful drug baron.

“I supply more heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana than anybody else in the world. I have a fleet of submarines, airplanes, trucks and boats,” he said, according to Penn.

Guzman, who previously escaped two Mexican prisons, failed to win a trial delay last week by citing a mountain of evidence handed over by prosecutors on Oct. 5.

Though Cogan refused to delay Monday’s start, he said opening statements would begin no sooner than Nov. 13, which could give the defense “extra prep days” if a panel is seated quickly.

The process was off to a slow start Monday after Cogan questioned only 45 of the 100 prospective jurors he said he hoped to interview on the first day.

Of the 45 prospective jurors, 17 were stricken for various reasons ranging from medical issues to worries about bias related to news coverage and the Netflix show “Narcos.”

One prospective juror, a middle-aged white man whose favorite book is “Twelve Angry Men,” said he might have trouble with impartiality due to his favorite sandwich.

“You noted one local deli menu near (your) work has a sandwich called the ‘El Chapo,’” Judge Cogan said.

The prospective juror said the “spicy” bagel includes salmon, lox, cream cheese and capers.

“I don’t know why it’s called the ‘El Chapo,’ but it’s delicious _ that’s all I gotta say,” the man replied.

“The sandwich, does it have any bologna in it?” one of Guzman’s lawyer William Purpura asked, jokingly referring to the bologna sandwiches served to federal inmates.

The judge closed jury selection to the public and allowed only five pool reporters to watch from the jury box Monday.

“Defendant is accused of leading a violent criminal organization with an alleged history of threatening and harming witnesses and interfering with the legal process,” he wrote in a ruling last week.

“The prospective jurors may be concerned that if they voice an unpopular or biased view, members of the public observing the proceedings — who, unlike the press, are not vetted — will connect that response to their appearance in a way that could put their safety at risk,” he wrote.

He said juror questionnaires will not be released to the public and any prospective jurors who aren’t comfortable speaking openly in the courtroom would be able to request sidebars.

“In some ways, this case is unprecedented; the amount of public attention has been extraordinary,” the judge wrote.

Source
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Mica
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Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera and his laughter in court
Everything indicates that the alleged ex-leader of the Sinaloa cartel is not having such a bad time at the start of the federal trial against him for 11 charges of drug trafficking and money laundering

As part of the interview process that continues this Tuesday and in which 18 panelists, 12 permanent and 6 substitutes will be selected, the defendant who faces 11 charges related to drug trafficking was present in court.

El Chapo, wearing a dark suit, wide-necked white shirt, belt and brown shoes, followed the audience with the help of translators. His lawyers provided him with a pad to take notes.

But what most caught the attention of those present was the verbal exchange with one of his lawyers, Eduardo Balarezo, with whom at one point he shared a laugh.


Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera and his laughter in court
Everything indicates that the alleged ex-leader of the Sinaloa cartel is not having such a bad time at the start of the federal trial against him for 11 charges of drug trafficking and money laundering
Balarezo is the only one of the lawyers who represents him who speaks Spanish.

Yesterday, 17 potential jurors were dismissed from the process after confessing to being afraid that people linked to Guzmán Loera would retaliate against them or their families. They were also removed from the process for medical reasons or for indicating that they might experience financial problems if they miss many days at work.

The trial against Chapo is expected to last at least four months.

Any gesture or expression of the alleged exponent of the Sinaloa cartel is a matter of media review. The fascination should not be surprising considering that the Mexican has spent more than a year and a half in solitary confinement at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.

In September, Judge Brian Cohan had to call attention to Guzmán Loera, after allegedly being spellbound watching his wife Emma Coronel in the room did not pay attention to the audience.

Source
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Mica
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Potential juror tossed for wanting El Chapo autograph

stevectpa
https://www.yahoo.com/news/potential-juror-tossed-wanting-el-chapo-autograph-195218678.html

New York (AFP) - A potential juror in the mammoth New York trial of Mexican drug baron Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was dismissed by the judge on Tuesday after requesting the defendant's autograph.

The man, whose identity is withheld along with all potential jurors under the rigorous security arrangements surrounding the trial, was born in Colombia but has spent the last 20 years living in New York.

He told the court during his interview that he was aware of drug trafficking because he was born in Medellin, the hometown of former Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, and that he liked televised crime dramas, but insisted that would not affect his judgement should he be impaneled.

But Tuesday he was reported to have asked a court security officer for Guzman's autograph, one of the most notorious criminals in the world whose trial is expected to become the most expensive in US federal trial history.

Brought back for questioning by District Judge Brian Cogan, he admitted having made the request. When asked why, the man replied: "I'm a bit of a fan." Guzman flashed a smile.

The prosecution objected and the defense argued he should stay, but Cogan struck him.

El Chapo, one of the most notorious criminals in the world, attended the second day of jury selection dressed in a black suit, pale blue shirt and large plaid-patterned tie.

Of nearly 60 potential jurors questioned, none have yet been impaneled and 27 have been dismissed, including five who have voiced security concerns.

One of them was a young woman, whom the judge said had cried profusely in the hall, saying that her mother had told her "we've got to move and get a new house." Chapo laughed in response.

"She's worried the pressure on her mother will be injurious to her health," said Cogan, before dismissing her.

Among the others struck were a potential juror who had a panic attack and was taken to hospital, a Michael Jackson impersonator whose job was deemed too identifiable and a man who liked an "El Chapo" sandwich at a deli near his workplace, who complained that could also make him identifiable.

Twelve jurors and six alternates will be selected to decide whether Guzman, who is accused of spending 25 years smuggling cocaine into the United States, is guilty on 11 trafficking, firearms and money laundering charges.

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Re: Potential juror tossed for wanting El Chapo autograph

Mica
An autograph, wow!
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