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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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.
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.
Posting to his Instagram account, Fif shared a photo of the pilot episode outline and, in the caption, mentioned that the casting information would be coming soon. The story will center around Big Meech and his involvement with the Black Mafia Family, which was a large drug organization formerly based in Detroit. – via HotNewHipHop.com
As previously reported, 50 has already secured the exclusive rights and official stamp of approval to produce the project from the leader of BMF, Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory.
Sidenote: Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me and my team about casting for the series set to premier on the STARZ network. Right now we’re playing the waiting game. It takes a significant amount of time to get the business side secured for a project of this magnitude. Once the script is written, casting is the next phase.
Back in December, I tweeted 50 to see if I could get any information about the casting calls. No updates were provided until about 6 months later.
At any rate, I am just thrilled to see the project moving forward.
Keep checking back in to The Pen Hustler for casting info as it becomes available. I will do my best to get it out there as soon as humanly possible.
Who do YOU think should portray Big Meech and his brother in the series?
If you are interested in casting for the series, please send me your info along with any pics or headshots and I will feature you on the site.
You never know, you could land you the role!
Send headshots/pics to: Features@ThePenHustler.com