Judge denies ‘El Chapo’ hug request

Elias Hubbard
November 9, 2018

This week, El Chapo had one simple ask for the judge presiding over his Narco-trial: let me hug my wife just this once.

A NY federal judge says no hugging for notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who is set to appear in court next week to face charges that he oversaw a violent drug cartel.

The lonely drug lord requested he be allowed an "embrace" from his wife before opening statements next week, but Brooklyn federal Judge Brian Cogan shot that motion down - despite defense promises that their client would not use the hug to facilitate an escape.

The 61-year-old former head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, once the main supplier of drugs to the U.S., is facing 17 criminal charges, including drug trafficking, conspiracy and running a criminal organization. And although the judge began his address by stating "the Court is sympathetic to the request", it was ultimately decided that he his wife Emma Coronel Aispuro would not be granted special permissions, as part of a preemptive punishment plan.

But while Cogan praised Guzman's "exemplary" behavior in court and confinement to date, and for having "displayed considerable grace under pressure", the request was denied as "contrary to all" security procedures.

Guzman has been in solitary confinement in a high-security Manhattan prison for nearly two years, ever since Mexican authorities arrested him in January 2016.

The restrictions, Cogan noted, were "tailored to the government's legitimate objectives of preventing" Guzman from "coordinating any escape from prison or directing any attack" on cooperating witnesses. U.S. prosecutors have ruled out seeking the death penalty for Guzman as a condition of his extradition from Mexico.

A jury of seven women and five men have been selected to determine whether Guzman is guilty on 11 trafficking, firearms and money laundering charges.

The notorious Sinaloa Cartel head notably managed to escape from two separate Mexican prisons - once riding a motorcycle through a mile-long tunnel to freedom.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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