Capo no more, Sinaloa drug lord faces trial in NY


Jury selection in the trial for the accused Mexican drug lord "El Chapo" begins Monday in Brooklyn.

The alleged drug kingpin is accused of running a cartel that laundered billions of dollars while overseeing ruthless kidnappings and murders.

Mexican druglord "El Chapo" Guzman is on the run from police after making a daring escape from Mexico's most secure prison.

Guzman's defense attorneys have argued the level of security creates a public spectacle that's prejudicial to jurors.

Guzman, 61, formerly led the Sinaloa Cartel, named after its base in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. The charges he now faces can earn him a lifelong prison sentence.

USA prosecutors contend 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 $14 billion.

"It's probably set up to be the most expensive trial in the history of the USA", he said.

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Guzman pleads not guilty.

One of Mexico's most notorious drug lords will go on trial in the USA later on Monday. The price tag includes protection programs for at least some of the several hundred witnesses expected to testify.

Guzman has been held in solitary confinement in NY since Mexico extradited him and he spends 23 hours a day in his cell.

Some of the informants have already been absorbed into the U.S. witness protection programme and given new identities and homes around the country.

The only visitors he is allowed are his three lawyers and twin seven-year-old daughters - the judge banned his 29-year-old beauty queen wife, Emma Coronel, from visiting. He was first apprehended by Mexican authorities in 2016.

Mexican authorities captured Guzman and an associate in January 2016 fleeing a raid on a house where he had been staying in northwest Mexico.