The Trial of Mexican Drug Lord "El Chapo" Starts Monday in Brooklyn

Jury selection in 'El Chapo' trial set to begin Monday in New York

Jury selection in 'El Chapo' trial set to begin Monday in New York

Almost a decade after a Brooklyn grand jury handed down the first of many indictments against him, jury selection will finally begin Monday for notorious cartel kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera.

At pretrial hearings leading to the trial, heavily armed federal officers and bomb-sniffing dogs patrolled outside.

But that could create a logistical nightmare during the trial, and there is speculation that "El Chapo" is being held in a cell deep within the Brooklyn courthouse. The names of the witnesses will also be kept secret. US Marshals will escort them to and from the federal court every day.

El Chapo pleaded not guilty to all the crimes against him - global drug trafficking, gun charges, money laundering, and more.

Guzman's defense attorneys have argued the level of security creates a public spectacle that's prejudicial to jurors. Opening statements in the trial are expected November 13.

Prosecutors say the USA government is seeking a $14 billion forfeiture order as part of the case.

The required security to ensure each parties safety is unprecedented and it expected to cause the Brooklyn Bridge to be closed twice a day until the end of the trial.

The Sinaloa cartel Guzman founded in 1989 is still hugely powerful.

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That tipped off investigators to his location.

He has been in solitary confinement in a high-security NY prison since Mexico extradited him to the United States in January 2017. Others recalled how he did an interview with actor Sean Penn while he was on the run.

El Chapo - "Shorty", for his 5-foot-6 stature - has been an iconic figure in the drug trade for decades.

Authorities say he maintained his grip on the Sinaloa Cartel. "This prosecution demonstrates that we will apply all available resources to dismantle the leadership of risky drug cartels, wherever they operate, and will not rest until we have done so'".

Guzman was extradited to the United States in January 2017 on an indictment that detailed his alleged reign over a merciless trafficking organization controlled through murder and torture.

One of Mexico's most notorious drug lords will go on trial in the USA later on Monday. Guzman sat at the defence table listening through an interpreter and wearing street clothes - a dark suit and a white shirt with an open collar - instead of a jail uniform for the first time since he was extradited to the United States early previous year.

Bacon reported from Virginia.

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