Quantcast
Connect with us

‘El Chapo’ decided ‘who lives and who dies’ as drug boss, US jury told

Published

on

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was someone who decided “who lives and who dies,” a prosecutor said in closing arguments in the accused Mexican drug kingpin’s trial in the United States.

“The government does not have to prove that he was the boss, or the only boss, or even one of the top bosses,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Goldbarg told jurors, though she hastened to add that Guzman was “one of the top bosses, without a doubt.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Guzman’s lawyers have claimed the cartel’s real leader is Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, who remains at large, and that their client was framed by Zambada.

Standing in front of a table piled with trial evidence including assault rifles and bricks of cocaine, Goldbarg took a calm, no-nonsense approach as she walked the jury in federal court in Brooklyn through the charges against Guzman one by one.

Guzman, 61, was extradited to the United States in January 2017. The 10 criminal counts include engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, drug trafficking and money laundering conspiracy, and a life sentence if he is found guilty.

Goldbarg’s summation capped an exhaustive government case that spanned 10 weeks of testimony from more than 50 witnesses, including law enforcement officials and former associates of Guzman who are cooperating with the U.S. government after striking plea deals.

Guzman’s lawyers have aggressively sought to undermine the cooperators’ credibility in their cross-examinations, something Goldbarg addressed head on.

ADVERTISEMENT

“These witnesses were criminals,” she said. “The government is not asking you to like them.”

However, she said, their testimony was corroborated by intercepted phone calls, text messages and letters from Guzman, as well as accounting ledgers seized in a raid on one of his safe houses.

“You know these cooperating witnesses are telling the truth because you heard the same thing from the defendant’s own mouth,” she said.

ADVERTISEMENT

The intercepted communications showed Guzman plotting drug shipments, dealing with corrupt government officials and, sometimes, ordering his adversaries killed.

“He’s the one who decides who lives and who dies,” Goldbarg said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Goldbarg then moved methodically through the evidence linking Guzman to each of a series of drug seizures by authorities in the 1990s and 2000s. Her argument is expected to last the rest of the day.

Guzman called only one witness in his defense on Tuesday. One of his lawyers is expected to deliver his closing argument on Thursday.

Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Anthony Lin and Grant McCool

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

United States, Mexico, Canada finalize Donald Trump’s USMCA trade deal

Published

on

The United States, Mexico and Canada signed a deal Tuesday to finalize their new trade agreement, paving the way to ratification after more than two years of arduous negotiations.

However, the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in the US Senate would likely delay Congressional ratification of the agreement until next year, said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

In reality, it is the second time the three countries have triumphantly announced the conclusion of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the deal meant to replace the 25-year-old NAFTA, which President Donald Trump complains has been "a disaster" for the US.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

WATCH: Maddow hilariously recaps Trump’s ‘shenanigans in the Oval Office’ with the Russian foreign minister

Published

on

MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Tuesday examined President Donald Trump's meeting with Russian Federation Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov -- on the same day that the House of Representatives unveiled articles of impeachment against the commander-in-chief.

Following the meeting, Lavrov trolled Trump on the issues of foreign election interference and Trump's habit of revealing classified intelligence.

"Given that, given the way the president is being impeached for having done all those things to Ukraine in and way that undermined our alliance with them and specifically their fight against Russian aggression -- which has, you know, led to a five-year-long war in Ukraine -- I mean given the fact he's being impeached for undermining Ukraine in its war against Russia, this is heck of a day to choose to have the Russian foreign minister sitting on your lap in the Oval Office," Maddow said.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Trump propaganda network tried to get visa for arrested Ukrainian official to give them Biden dirt: report

Published

on

On Tuesday, The Daily Beast reported that One America News Network, a pro-Trump TV channel that competes with Fox News, tried to secure a U.S. visa for Oleksandr Onyshchenko, a former Ukrainian lawmaker who was arrested last week by German authorities on corruption charges.

OAN reportedly was interested in transporting Onyschenko to America to help uncover dirt on Burisma, the energy company linked to former Vice President Joe Biden's son, and the focus of President Donald Trump's attempts to coerce the Ukrainian government to interfere with U.S. elections. They are reportedly also seeking visas for "several other" Ukrainian officials.

Continue Reading