Judge Rules that 'El Chapo' Will Have an Anonymous and Protected Jury


On Monday a federal judge ruled that the panel of jurors in the trial of Joaquín Guzmán, also known as "El Chapo," will remain anonymous and under special protection.

MORE: Exclusive: Kate Del Castillo Opens Up About Her Meeting With El Chapo. 'I Risked My Life To Tell A Story.'

U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan agreed in favor of prosecutors who indicated that the former Sinaloa drug lord's violent history calls for the jury to be protected. Cogan ruled that jurors will be escorted to and from the Brooklyn courthouse by deputy US marshals and sequestered from the public while inside, "to protect the integrity of the trial and to mitigate any fear of harassment or intimidation in the jurors' minds."

According to NPR Cogan cited reports that a California prison gang has volunteered to support Guzman while he is in the United States. The chilling video shows men in prison saying, "lo que usted diga es ley" (what you say is law) and that he had the support of 3,500 people in prison.

Guzman's lawyer, Eduardo Balarezo, argued that having an anonymous jury would taint his client with the impression that he is dangerous. He told NPR "All [Guzman] is asking for is a fair trial in front of an impartial jury,

PLUS: El Chapo's Lawyers Delay Court After Not Being Paid

The notorious Mexican drug lord who escaped federal prison twice in Mexico was recaptured in 2016 and extradited to New York. His trial isn't set to start until September of this year and will have a pre-trial in this month.