For that last 13 weeks, an anonymous jury in a Brooklyn courtroom has been hearing testimony about Joaquin Archivaldo Guzmán Loera also known as “El Chapo”. El Chapo is on trial as one of, if not, the largest drug kingpin peddling drugs to American consumers. The chaos of the government shutdown, Donald Trump and Venezuela’s problems have put the trial in the back-burner of the news cycles. But the trial did not disappoint. The jury will start deliberating the fate of El Chapo as early as Monday.
The jury heard testimony and saw evidence about Chapo’s drug dealing and the two escapes from Mexican prisons. The jury also heard evidence that El Chapo was planning another escape from prison right before he was transferred to the Cd. Juárez prison and ultimately extradited to the United States. According to the testimony, El Chapo paid $2 million to the prison director to get him transferred back to the México City prison so that the escape plans could continue.
That never happened, instead he was extradited to the U.S. where he is now on trial.
The last escape and the attempted escape were facilitated by his current wife, who is an American citizen, and who has been attending the trial almost daily.
The jury also heard evidence about the mistresses that El Chapo had eavesdropping software installed on their phones so that he could press a button and listen in on them or watch them through the phone’s camera.
Poignantly it was the eavesdropping and sophisticated technology that made El Chapo’s trial a moot point. The jury heard directly from the Colombian Wizkid that created and maintained Chapo’s sophisticated communications system that allowed El Chapo to communicate with underlings across the world. The telecommunications system kept the FBI and other governmental forces unable to listen in on El Chapo’s operation.
That is, until the Wizkid decided to give the keys to the FBI. Not only the keys, but also helpfully listened in on El Chapo to give the FBI additional information.
The jury was captivated by El Chapo’s escape from the Mexican Marines hot on his trail. El Chapo was running through the city’s sewer system, stark naked, with his latest mistress in tow.
The jury also heard testimony and saw video of El Chapo’s enemies being interrogated and tortured.
Throughout the trial, El Chapo sat quietly while his wife, Emma Coronel sat in the spectator seats quietly listening to the testimony. There was some controversy with her at the trial as evidence indicated her participation in the drug trade and Chapo’s escape. The judge prohibited two lawyers for the defense team from having their phones in the courtroom after one of them gave Coronel a phone while in the court, a courtroom violation.
There was even some courtroom intrigue as both El Chapo, and his wife Emma Coronel both arrived in the court room one day wearing matching maroon velvet jackets while El Chapo’s mistress was testifying against him.
The prosecutors delivered almost 13 weeks of testimony, including wiretapped calls with Chapo, videos and drug ledgers to the jury. The defense, on the other hand, didn’t offer much of a defense other than an attempt to insinuate that El Chapo is just a scapegoat for an elaborate American and Mexican government cover up.
The defense offered one witness, an FBI agent that did little to show El Chapo innocent of the several charges over thirty-minutes of testimony. That was the only thing the defense could muster in defense of El Chapo.
That is not to say that the defense did not try to offer a defense, rather that what the defense wanted to offer – a cover up – was not allowed by the judge.
The trial was largely a secretive affair with much of the court documents held under seal. The judge also did not allow the defense team leeway on how they could cross-examine witnesses as he limited the testimony they could elicit.
I have been closely observing the trial over the last three months. I have hours of testimony and over 300 court documents, exhibits, voice recordings and video.
I have also been writing a book about the trial.
El Chapo is the first major Mexican drug lord to be tried in an American courtroom.
He is likely the last major drug cartel lord.
Over the last few years I have being writing a book about the rise and fall of the Mexican cartels. The Chapo trial delayed the book because no book on the Mexican drug cartels would be complete without including the trial of the last drug lord.
However, the trial itself presented compelling evidence that both answers many questions and raises others.
Because of that I believe that a book focused on the trial of El Chapo is important. It allows readers an opportunity to decide for themselves by digesting three months of court testimony in a neatly compiled book about the trial testimony and evidence. As I collected the testimony and evidence, I started writing the “Convicting Chapo – Naked and Afraid – the Trial to Convict El Chapo” book. It has been a work in progress over the last three months.
The book will have the testimony, court documents and court evidence I gathered over the last three months. It will also give you access to an online archive of videos shown in court that include the torture videos, as well as the surreptitiously recorded recordings of El Chapo. Just a note, the videos are not for the faint of heart. My book will include the testimony of bribing the last three Mexican presidents and American officials.
The last summation should be delivered today, and the jury should begin deliberating the evidence tomorrow, or Monday.
A verdict should be rendered soon.
The verdict is the last chapter in my book. As soon as it is delivered, I’ll finalize the book and put it on Amazon.
I am sure there will be appeals but those can take years. But now that the final chapter of El Chapo has been written, it is time to finalize my original book, The Last Narco. That book will offer a complete history of the rise and fall of the Mexican drug cartels. I am hoping to have that one completed later this year.
For those of you who might be interested in a signed copy of “Convicting Chapo – Naked and Afraid – the Trial to Convict El Chapo,” I’d be honored to make one available to you. Just email me or contact me via this blog and I’ll reserve a copy for you.
Stay tuned, the story of El Chapo is about to conclude.
I will post a link to my book: “Convicting Chapo – Naked and Afraid – the Trial to Convict El Chapo” as soon as it is available on Amazon.