A NY federal judge says no hugging for notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who is set to appear in court next week to face charges that he oversaw a violent drug cartel.
Drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is made to face the media in Mexico City as he is escorted by Mexican soldiers following his recapture six months after escaping from a maximum security prison in 2016.
The 61-year-old former head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, once the main supplier of drugs to the U.S., is facing 17 criminal charges, including drug trafficking, conspiracy and running a criminal organization. While he's been allowed visits from his twin daughters, he's only been permitted eye contact with his former beauty queen wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro.
He has escaped from Mexican prisons twice, once reportedly in a laundry basket and once in a spectacular jailbreak through a tunnel that accomplices had dug to his cell.
Cogan, despite being sympathetic to the Guzmans' appeal, denied the request on Thursday, however, noting that other defendants who are considered high-security risks wouldn't be granted the favor.
Guzman has been in solitary confinement in a high-security Manhattan prison for nearly two years, ever since Mexican authorities arrested him in January 2016.
Cogan said in his order that the denial is meant to prevent Guzman from co-ordinating an escape "or directing any attack on individuals who might be co-operating with the government".
A jury of seven women and five men have been selected to determine whether Guzman is guilty on 11 trafficking, firearms and money laundering charges.
The judge put off swearing in the jurors until next week out of concern some still might try to duck duty for a trial expected to last into next year. United States prosecutors have ruled out seeking the death penalty for Guzman as a condition of his extradition from Mexico.