JURORS are set to arrive under armed guard today to a New York courthouse as the trial for world notorious drug lord begins.
But any nervous jury members can maybe rest assured as El Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, known for liquidating anyone who crosses him, has vowed not to slaughter
El Chapo’s stay of execution promise came via his defence attorney who had opposed keeping the jury anonymous, claiming it would unfairly foster an impression his client was a dangerous man.
Last week at least one juror was known to have quit after she told the judge she was scared El Chapo’s family would come after her.
But elaborate procedures are in place to protect their identity and they are to be brought to and from court each day under armed guard.
Today they will hear the sinister saga surrounding the world’s – and history’s – most prolific mobster as a three month trial costing about £38million gets underway.
The evidence will include the testimony of more than a dozen cooperating witnesses who prosecutors say are risking retribution by taking the stand.
There also will be evidence about multiple savage murders committed in drug wars in Mexico, where victims would be tortured and dismembered in so-called “murder houses” and dumped in public places a warning to others.
Elaborate cocaine smuggling techniques will be outlined as well as El Chapo brazen escapes from jail.
Because of his tendency to escape he is under massive guard and the court in Brooklyn and surrounding area will be under complete lockdown.
It is unclear whether he will be travel to the court from his high security prison in Lower Manhattan.
This would involve closing the busy Brooklyn Bridge during rush hour to allow his guarded motorcade to pass through or by taking him by helicopter.
But it may be that he is being kept in a special cell below the courthouse because during his appearance last week at a jury selection session there was no sign he had been taken by land or air.
Heavily armed federal officers and bomb-sniffing dogs will be seen patrolling outside and airport security will be enforced in all parts of the building to detect anyone carrying weapons.
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The cartel boss’ arrest and extradition to New York City shook up Mexico’s drug underworld and remains a big story there.
He could face life in prison if convicted of drug-trafficking charges.
But His lawyers say he’s being framed by the cooperators.
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