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

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

Security around Guzman has also been tight ahead of the trial.

Jury selection begins Monday in the federal trial of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

Guzman has pleaded not guilty to charges of running a massive drug-trafficking operation in North America, including money laundering, kidnapping and murder in cities throughout the United States, including Chicago, Miami and NY.

For pre-trial hearings, authorities opted to transport him to and from jail by shutting down the Brooklyn Bridge to make way for a police motorcade that included a SWAT team and an ambulance, all tracked by helicopters.

That led to speculation Monday that Guzman would be held in a special cell deep within the Brooklyn courthouse facility.

Federal authorities have imposed extremely high security to prevent Guzman from slipping away yet again. US Marshals will escort them to and from the federal court every day.

And for further protection- the jurors names will be withheld from the public.

Opening arguments are scheduled to start on November 13, after a week of jury selection, held behind closed doors under security reserved for the most risky defendants. Opening statements in the trial are expected November 13.

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New York―Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman goes on trial in New York on Monday, accused of running the world's biggest drug cartel and spending a quarter of a century smuggling more than 155 tons of cocaine into the United States. He denies charges of drug trafficking and conspiracy and could face life in prison if convicted.

It is alleged that from 1989 to 2014, the cartel smuggled at least 340,892 pounds (154,626 kilograms) of cocaine into the United States, as well as heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana, raking in $14bn (£11bn).

Guzman's lawyers say the allegations are based on the false testimony of killers and drug dealers.

Prosecutors say the USA government is seeking a $14 billion forfeiture order as part of the case. His defense team says he has struggled to pay his legal bills. "I don't know why it's called the El Chapo, but it's delicious", he added to laughter from Guzman's lawyer and an unimpressed defendant.

He was captured in a deadly shootout in Los Mochis, a coastal city in Sinaloa. Others recalled how he did an interview with actor Sean Penn while he was on the run. He was serving a 20-year sentence on drug-trafficking charges in a different prison when he pulled off an intricate escape in 2001. He was known internationally as the head of Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel.

Mr Heroy estimates the trial will cost USA taxpayers "more than US$50 million", a price tag that includes protection programmes for at least some of the hundreds of witnesses expected to testify. As a result, U.S. District Court Judge Brian Cogan announced that a plan to keep the high-profile inmate stationary in one location could be developed, but did not confirm its existence, according to USA Today. "Guzman Loera made billions of illicit dollars".

After two massive prison breaks by El Chapo in Mexico, authorities in the United States are taking every precaution to keep their notorious prisoner behind bars.

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