Heavy Security Surrounds "El Chapo" Trial

Heavy Security Surrounds "El Chapo" Trial

Guzman has been kept in solitary confinement in Manhattan and taken to court in Brooklyn in a heavily guarded motorcade. The security around him is so intense that U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan, presiding over the case, denied last week a motion by Guzman asking to hug his wife before the trial.

The trial of accused Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman began in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Tuesday, surrounded by heavy security measures. Federal prosecutors said that as leader of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, Guzman directed massive drug shipments bound for the U.S., and he faces 17 criminal counts and a potential life sentence if convicted.

Part of the need for enhanced security is due to the fact that Guzman dramatically escaped from Mexican maximum security prisons not once, but twice. He has been kept in solitary confinement in Manhattan and taken to court in Brooklyn in a heavily guarded motorcade. The security around Guzman is so intense that U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan, presiding over the case, denied last week a motion by Guzman asking to hug his wife before the trial.

Jurors in Guzman’s case will remain anonymous and be escorted to and from the courtroom by armed U.S. marshals, a move prosecutors believe is necessary due to his history of intimidating and even ordering that potential witnesses be murdered.

Prosecutors have also taken measures to protect witnesses they plan to call during the trial, which will include former Sinaloa Cartel members and others involved in the drug trade who are now cooperating with U.S. authorities. None of the witnesses have been publicly named and some may even testify under aliases.  

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

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