After years of being on the run from law enforcement, having a worldwide search for his whereabouts, and escaping from prison, Joaquin Guzman, best known as alleged drug lord “El Chapo,” will finally be put on trial for charges of drug trafficking. On Wednesday, 12 New York residents were chosen as jurors for the trial, which is expected to begin next week.
With the courthouse in Brooklyn under heavy security, a jury consisting of seven women and five men were seated after being questioned by prosecutors and lawyers for Guzman. Although all said they had heard of Guzman, each also stated they could be impartial during testimony and in reaching a verdict.
The trial, which many legal experts say may last as long as four months, will be held in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, and will start the Tuesday after Veteran’s Day, when lawyers for both sides will present their opening statements. As the alleged head of the Mexican drug cartel Sinaloa, Guzman supposedly guided the cartel into becoming one of the world’s most prolific and dangerous drug organizations in the world.
Guzman’s nickname “El Chapo,” which in English translates to “Shorty,” has nevertheless been a difficult opponent for law enforcement agencies. After having been imprisoned twice in Mexico, he escaped both times, eluding authorities for a long period of time. However, after being recaptured, he was extradited to the United States on January 19, 2017.
While there have been few details leaked about the trial, Guzman’s lawyers have dropped hints their defense will center on Guzman having a far lesser role with the cartel than has been alleged by prosecutors. If convicted of the crimes for which he is charged, Guzman could face life in prison.
Due to the trial being high-profile, various precautions will be taken with regards to security. One of the most important involves the jurors, whose identities will be kept anonymous. In addition, they will be escorted to and from the courthouse by heavily-armed federal marshals. However, even with the strong security presence, some potential jurors were excused from duty, after expressing fears about serving on the jury for this case. This was not surprising to prosecutors, since it is alleged that Guzman has a reputation for attempting to intimidate witnesses, and that in some cases has ordered people murdered. Additional details on this upcoming trial can be found at Your text to link….