Federal prosecutors in New York say there is an “avalanche of evidence” to convict alleged Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
Guzman is on trial for 10 charges ranging from drug trafficking, money laundering and murder.
U.S. Attorney Andrea Goldbarg displayed some of that apparent evidence to the jury Wednesday, including rifles, a bulletproof vest and a brick of cocaine.
Intercepted phone calls, text messages, and written letters ordering drug deals and killings were the other evidence.
Guzman decided “who lives and who dies,” Goldbarg said. “Over 25 years, the defendant rose to the ranks to become the principal leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel. His goal was to distribute as much drugs as possible to the United States. His goal was to make millions of dollars in profits.”
Guzman has pleaded not guilty. His attorneys say he is the victim of a corrupt Mexican government and a scapegoat for who they say is the cartel’s real leader —wanted fugitive Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada.
But Goldbarg said it doesn’t matter who was in charge and called Guzman “one of the top bosses.”
Guzman was captured and extradited to the United States two years ago after his dramatic escape from Mexican prisons.
The defense will present its case Thursday before it goes to the jury. If convicted, Guzman faces life behind bars.