Prosecutors seek sanctions against El Chapo lawyers


USA prosecutors on Tuesday claimed that a lawyer for Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who is now on trial in Brooklyn federal court, helped arrange unauthorised contact between the accused Mexican drug lord and his wife, Emma Coronel. 'We had to pay them all, ' he said.

The incidents show the intense security measures at play in the case and provide glimpses into the lengths to which the government is going to provide security for witnesses in Guzman's high-profile trial.

The security limitations were made clear as part of the testimony from Miguel Angel Martinez, a cooperating witness who worked for El Chapo in the Sinaloa cartel between 1986 and 1998.

The resulting sketch from artist Christine Cornell shows a witness on the stand with a blurred face and a bald head, as Guzman looks on. Measures are so tight that Guzman wasn't even allowed a hug from his beloved before opening statements.

Throughout Tuesday's testimony, a suited and booted Guzman listened intently in court to the turncoat, never once taking his eyes off Martinez on what was the second day of the third week of his trial.

Guzman also wire-tapped everyone, Martinez said - "enemies, friends", and even girlfriends.

"Él era el jefe", he said, referring to Guzman - "He was the boss".

1105chapo Prosecutors Say El Chapos Wife Got Cell Phone In Brooklyn Courthouse Made Calls
Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman

Whenever Guzman was asked if he was laundering money, Martinez said that the drug baron would simply maintain that he was exporting tomatoes. They were associates, friends, and "compadres", and Chapo baptized Martinez's son in 1989.

Guzman's profits were jetted in by the plane load to the tune of $30 million a month, delivered by private jet from the Mexican border town of Tijuana to Mexico City for successfully delivered USA drug shipments.

Martinez testified that, after washing out as a pilot for Guzman by almost crashing a plane with his boss aboard, he was made a cartel administrator helping oversee the Colombian shipments and bribery.

Martinez claimed he would ferry millions in Samsonite suitcases to Mexico City banks where he would exchange dollars for local currency without hiccup after Guzman bribed bank employees. He started speaking directly to the Colombian cartels, organizing and receiving the shipment of drugs, storing them, packaging them and sending them to the USA, all under orders from Chapo, he testified.

Posing as attorneys, Martinez said, he and others at the office directed bribes to government officials so the cartel could operate undisturbed. The Colombians would keep 55% of the drug shipment and Chapo would keep 45% for making sure that the drug got safely to Mexico and then went on to the US.

Martinez said he began working for Guzman as a pilot and as a guide to other pilots on drug flights in 1987.

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The Argentine defender was signed by Spurs in 2014, yet played just 32 times in north London and completed a solitary full season at the club.