Quantcast
Connect with us

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

Published

on

The accused Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman (R), appears with defense attorney A. Eduardo Balarezo (L) in this courtroom sketch as he appears in Brooklyn federal court in New York, U.S., November 19, 2018. Sketch from November 19, 2018. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

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

Vehicles being used as weapons against protesters is ‘the new normal in 2020’: CNN

Published

on

CNN's Don Lemon on Friday evening devoted a segment to the rash of incidents in which people have driven through Black Lives Matter protesters in the same manner that killed Heather Heyer at the fatal 2017 "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"Vehicles used as weapons," Don Lemon began. "You heard me right, vehicles are being used as weapons against Americans taking to the streets in Black Lives Matter protests in cities across this country."

CNN correspondent Evan McMorris-Santoro reported shocking scenes captured on camera of vehicles running down protesters are "common now."

Continue Reading

2020 Election

Trump tells supporters he won’t be ‘stupid’ enough for peaceful transition of power if he loses

Published

on

President Donald Trump continued to spread debunked conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election during a Friday night campaign rally in Virginia.

Trump argued that it was impossible for him to lose the election, thus concluding he would be "stupid" to hand over power peacefully should he lose.

"We not gonna lose this, except if they cheat," Trump falsely claimed about the 2020 campaign, where he trails Joe Biden in national and battleground polling.

"That's the only way we're gonna lose is if there's, uh, mischief," he argued. "And it will have to be on a big scale."

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

Kamala’s family ridicules ‘idiot’ Trump for comments on Sen. Harris at Virginia rally

Published

on

President Donald Trump lashed out at the Democratic Party vice presidential nominee during a Friday night campaign speech in Newport News, Virginia.

Maya Harris, the sister of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), was pleased that Trump noted the differences between the two VP choices.

Praise the Lord! https://t.co/6B4Z2qxE8a

— Maya Harris (@mayaharris_) September 26, 2020

Continue Reading
 
 
Democracy is in peril. Invest in progressive news. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free. LEARN MORE