Mexican drug lord El Chapo goes on trial in NY

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

Joaquin"El Chapo Guzman is escorted by U.S. agents after arriving from Mexico in Ronkonkoma N.Y. on Jan. 19 2017

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's reputation as a murderous cocaine smuggler has federal authorities taking no chances as his trial gets underway.

He's been held in solitary confinement in a high-security federal cell at the Manhattan Correctional Center since January 2017, when Mexico agreed to allow his extradition to the United States for trial.

Potential jurors, including a Michael Jackson impersonator, arrived to court to see it surrounded by heavily armed guards and bomb sniffing dogs that had staged a perimeter. The charges carry a mandatory life prison term.

The defendant accused of running the massive Sinaloa drug cartel, observed the first day of jury selection dressed in a navy suit, white shirt with a wide disco-style collar, flashing a smile but otherwise impervious. Prosecutors have also sought to hide the identity of cooperating witnesses out of concerns the cartel could seek retribution, while a judge is keeping the jury anonymous to protect them from intimidation.

According to reports, Jury selection for the trial of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has started. Opening statements are likely November 13.

One of Mexico's most notorious drug lords will go on trial in the United States later on Monday.

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The newspapers cited unnamed people familiar with the matter. "On balance it would improve the pool of talent we have". Officials from the city toured the neighborhood with Amazon executives three times in April, July and September.

A Mexican official told Reuters at the time that the move was a show of goodwill to incoming US President Donald Trump, who was inaugurated the next day, though Alberto Elias Beltran, Mexico's assistant attorney general for worldwide affairs, denied any connection.

"I feel very badly about drugs", she said, when Cogan asked about the answer.

Guzman is charged with 17 counts of murder, conspiracy, drug trafficking and money laundering. As a reason, the judge cited prosecutors" contention that Guzman's cartel "employs "sicarios, ' or hit men, who carried out hundreds of acts of violence, including murders, assaults and kidnappings".

El Chapo was captured by the Mexican Army in December 2016.

Guzman, 61, formerly led the Sinaloa Cartel, named after its base in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, which became one of the most powerful drug trafficking organizations in the world. U.S. prosecutors contend that from 1989 to 2014, the cartel smuggled at least 340,892 pounds (154,626 kilograms) of cocaine into the United States, as well as heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana, raking in $14 billion. In the United States, opioid addiction has spiralled into an epidemic.

There's now speculation that a special cell for Guzman has been set up in the bowels of the courthouse where he will spend the night after his days in court.

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