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Jury Selected For Trial Of Mexican Drug Lord 'El Chapo'

November 07, 2018 - 2:41 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) – The jury has been selected in the U.S. trial for Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

A jury of seven woman and five men will hear opening statements Tuesday in the drug-conspiracy case against El Chapo inside a federal court in Brooklyn.

Guzman is accused of overseeing a drug cartel known for violence and for breaking him out of Mexican prisons. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The jurors will remain anonymous given the notoriety of the case and special security measures will be put in place.

Guzman will be held in solitary confinement and was told he would not be able to see his wife out of concerns that she could pass messages to his cohorts. It remains unclear if a federal judge will allow him to hug his wife when the trial begins.

Most of the people picked either for the jury or to serve as six alternates said in initial screening that they had heard of Guzman through news reports or TV shows. They include a man and a woman said they are fluent in Spanish and a man who's a retired corrections officer.

The judge put off swearing in the jurors until next week out of concern some still might try to duck duty for a trial expected to last into next year. He told lawyers that one of the jurors, after learning she was picked, wept while privately telling him she was afraid of the unwanted attention she would get if it was found out she was on the panel.

The woman was kept on after defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman argued that dismissing her would set the precedent that jurors could get out service “with a few tears.”