El Chapo’s Lawyers Say He is Being Denied Due Process Leading Up to Trial

Photo Credit: NBC News

During his upcoming trial US prosecutors will paint the story of a lowly marijuana farmer who rose to create a smuggling empire with annual revenues of $3bn and which, at its peak, was allegedly responsible for 25% of all illegal drugs entering the US from Mexico.

THE GUARDIAN– The sheer abundance of discovery material alone is an indication that little about United States v Joaquín Guzmán Loera will be straightforward when jury selection begins in Brooklyn federal Judge Brian Cogan’s court room on 5 November.

As trial nears, Loera’s defense team say their client is being systematically denied due process.

Attorney Jeffrey Lichtman, a heavy hitting New York criminal defence lawyer who formally joined Guzmán’s defence team last month says:

“I’ve defended some difficult cases and some notorious clients but I’ve never had both arms tied behind my back like this. This is literally an inquisition. Constitutional fairness has gone out of the window because the government wants a show trial with a quickie conviction.”

The vast amount of evidence prosecutors have assembled to back up their story of Guzmán’s two decades at the top has now landed with the defence, a “dump” in their opinion, and assembled “with no rhyme or reason”.

If the government’s evidence against Guzmán is as good as it claims it is, why are they treating El Chapo in this fashion? “It’s making me think that maybe the evidence is not so good and they’re going to rely on the evidence of people who’ve spent their entire lives selling drugs and lying”.

“He’s in isolation 24 hours a day and his condition is deteriorating. He has no contact with other prisoners and very little contact with jailers, who don’t speak Spanish. He has no ability to speak to his family and gets two calls from his sister totaling half-an-hour a month.”

Lichtman, who is best known for winning an acquittal for John Gotti Jr on mob related racketeering charges, has amplified a sense of anticipation before the trial.

Guzmán’s wife, the former beauty queen Emma Coronel Aispuro, now attends pretrial hearings with the couple’s two young daughters, who wave and coo excitedly to their father from the gallery.

That space is now crammed with increasing numbers of media from Mexico and Central America, where Guzmán remains both reviled and revered.

What are your thoughts? Do you think that El Chapo deserves a fair shot at trial? Is a fair trial even feasible for a man who stands accused of such crimes as himself?

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El Chapo Trial Pushed Back Until November 2018

NEW YORK POST– The trial of accused drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman will now begin in November, two months later than scheduled.

The delay comes after lawyers for the cartel leader requested an additional five months to go over evidence, claiming that federal prosecutors overseeing the case had been “sandbagging” them with belated information dumps. Prosecutors had argued for only a one-month delay.

Brooklyn federal Justice Brian Cogan agreed to a two-month delay Monday and said jury selection in Guzman’s case will now begin Nov. 5.

Federal Judge Threatens To Block El Chapo’s ‘Drug’ Money From Paying For Lawyers


NBC New York –Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman walked into federal court in Brooklyn and immediately waved to his wife and twin daughters, who were sitting in the second row, then sat as a judge refused to guarantee the government wouldn’t at some point seize any fees private lawyers would receive for legal services.

The Mexican drug lord’s lawyers, including noted criminal defense attorney Jeff Lichtman, who successfully defended the son of mob scion John Gotti, had sought assurances that if they came into the case, the government wouldn’t later seize their fees as part of the $14 billion alleged drug money it wants to collect from Guzman.

The private lawyers said they want to take the case off the hands of public defenders, that they want to lift the burden from taxpayers’ shoulders, but they need to be compensated.

They didn’t get any promises. 

U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan told them at Monday’s hearing that they would have to take that risk if they wanted to represent him. 

Afterward, the lawyers told reporters that they still want to find a way to represent Guzman. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of running a drug trafficking cartel that laundered billions of dollars and oversaw murders and kidnappings.

Lichtman also said after court that Guzman would be able to spend time with his family Thursday for the first time in seven months. Guzman frequently turned to stare at his family throughout his 15-minute hearing Monday. He appeared emotional at times. 

Guzman is set to go on trial in New York next year. Cogan refused to flex the trial start date at Monday’s hearing. He told the private lawyers if they wanted to take the risk in defending Guzman to “do it soon,” adding “I am not going to put the April trial date in jeopardy because you complain that you didn’t have enough time to prepare.” 

Lichtman has yet to file a “notice of appearance” officially saying he is Guzman’s new lawyer, though Guzman has retained him.

Wow! Looks like the Feds ain’t playing with “El Chapo” at all. He fought tooth & nail to get transferred to the US to face his charges, but it looks like that plan is slowly crumbling like foil. Especially if the judge blocks that money.

Prior to hiring his own counsel, he was using public defenders to defend his case. 

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Tijuana Drug Cartel Hitman Describes Life As A Professional Killer In New Book

Everyone KNOWS that I live for a redemption story, so much so that I am working on my own masterpiece redemption story entitled, “Gangster Girls: The Last Girl Standing” in which I hope to release sooner than later.

Anyhow, the following article was posted on Daily Mail UK and gives some insight into the life of Martin Corona, a former hitman for the Tijauna drug cartel.

Corona, who has admitted to killing 8 people during his time in the cartel says that it was when he was ordered to murder two women (with a child in the car) that he decided to walk away from the lifestyle. For good.

Cartel

Martin Corona was a professional killer working for the feared Mexican Cartel leader Ramon Arellano-Felix.

Racking up a total of eight kills in his criminal career, he earned himself 25 years in prison back in 2001.

The killer, now 58, opened up about how he handled his killings and his life as a gun for hire.

Fighting a drug war which engulfed the southern part of California, he claims to killed a member of El Chapo’s drug cartel.

He described being a “lost soul” who found acceptance in the world of paid for murder and gangs.

Corona revealed he is “not proud” of what he has done and said he finds it “humiliating” to look himself in the mirror.

Working as enforcer of drug-pushers, he gunned down two women sitting in a car who were suspected of snitching.

However he discovered one of their seven-year-old daughters sitting in the back seat.

The killer said it was this moment which made him give up his life as a hitman.

He described telling himself “its an ugly business, but its a business” before his first assassination – when he was ordered to kill two members of a rival gang.

Corona – who cannot be pictured for his own safety – is now free from prison and working as a construction worker, trying to escape his brutal past.

Corona’s descent into crime began at age 12, getting into drugs, and discovering the man he thought was his father wasn’t.

He told the New York Post:

 I was a lost soul. These people accepted me. They treated me with respect, and at the time, it seemed like admiration and love.

I’m not proud of my past.

It’s really humiliating waking up and looking at yourself in the mirror knowing the things you’ve done.

His story is being told in new book Confessions of a Cartel Hit Man which is out on July 25.