Joaquin Guzman Loera
Joaquin Guzman Loera – The team of lawyers who are going to defend Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman during his trial in New York have been made public. There are four lawyers who have been selected because of their expertise in drugs and mafia cases. Among them Jeffrey Lichtman and Marc Fernich, who successfully defended the son of New York’s greatest mafia boss, John Gotti.
The other two lawyers are William Purpura, who previously defended the hardened criminal from Baltimore: Richard Wilford and last but not least Eduardo Balarezo, who had Alfredo Beltrán Leyva (El Mochomo) as his client. The last one is a bit weird because Mochomo, had some issues with El Chapo before his arrest in 2007. It’s believed that Guzman tipped the American Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) About Beltrán Leyva.
In addition, rumors are going around that El Mochomo, who made a “bare plea” deal with the Americans, wants to testify against El Chapo. A DEA expert said earlier in the Washington Post that it’s possible that Alfredo would not betray El Chapo in spite of all the blood shed. The choice of Guzman to hire lawyer Eduardo Balarezo seems to indicate that the expert of the DEA is probably right.
El Mochomo (image) has received a life sentence. He also has to pay back $529 million. Richard Wilford, the drug trafficker from Baltimore, also received prison time, 28 year to be exact. Not even his lawyer William Purpura managed to keep him out of harms way.
Jeffrey Lichtman, who successfully defended John Gotti Jr., declared it’s too early to say anything about El Chapo’s defense strategy. However, he wants to do everything in his power to make the court doubt the testimonies of other criminals. According to the prosecutor, there are more than 40 witnesses against El Chapo. Guzman is suspected of assassinations, leading a criminal organization and many drug transports (with aircraft, tunnels, containers, yachts, fishing boats and lorries).
El Chapo is detained in a high-security prison in Manhattan. He was arrested in Mexico in January 2016, after having escaped prison six months earlier. In January of this year he was extradited to the US.