Brooklyn Bridge might shut down to shuttle 'El Chapo' to trial t

'El Chapo' Trial: Trial of alleged drug kingpin to begin in US

'El Chapo' Trial: Trial of alleged drug kingpin to begin in US

The mythical criminal pedigree of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who was extradited in 2017 to face USA drug conspiracy charges, has sparked security concerns at his upcoming New York City trial that at times have drawn as much attention as the case's sensational allegations.

Guzman managed to escape from prison in Mexico twice before being extradited to the U.S. on January 19, 2017. He faces life in prison if convicted in this trial, which is set for opening statements to begin November 13.

He was recruited by Guadalajara cartel boss Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, known as "The Godfather" of Mexico's modern drug cartels.

Jurors also will be escorted to and from the courthouse by federal officers and sequestered from the public while inside.

American prosecutors have accused Joaquin Guzman of overseeing a multibillion-dollar drug operation and a ruthless campaign of murders and kidnappings of his rivals. Prosecutors have also sought to hide the identity of cooperating witnesses out of concerns the cartel could seek retribution, while a judge is keeping the jury anonymous to protect them from intimidation.

Recaptured drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted by soldiers at the hangar belonging to the office of the Attorney General in Mexico City, Mexico on January 8, 2016.

"I feel very badly about drugs", she said, when Cogan asked about the answer.

"I don't know why it's called the 'El Chapo,"' he said.

Last year, there was a record 29,000 murders in Mexico.

Prosecutors say the USA government is seeking a $14 billion forfeiture order as part of the case.

It is alleged that he spent a quarter of a century smuggling more than 155 tonnes of cocaine into the United States. Some have even been hiding in special jail units and others in witness protection programs, WNBC-TV reported.

The only visitors he is allowed are his lawyers and twin, seven-year-old daughters, from whom he is separated by thick glass.

Previously, a federal judge said in light of the history of violence surrounding the cartel which El Chapo allegedly ran and the high-profile nature of the case, he has granted jurors anonymity in the trial.

Re-arrested in February 2014, he escaped again 14 months later. Guzman was re-captured in January 2016 after a visit from Hollywood actor Sean Penn and a Mexican actress, who wanted to make a film about his life, allowed Mexican authorities to trace his whereabouts.

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