Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman is accused of 17 different indictments, ranging from murder conspiracy, to drug smuggling. He was extradited to the US last year after escaping from two different Mexican prisons
Infamous Cartel kingpin El Chapo broke down in tears on Thursday, when he saw his 7-year-old twin daughters for the first time in three months in a surprise appearance at his drug trafficking trial.
Entering its sixth week, the trial of Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman hit an emotional note on December 20, when the defendant’s wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, walked through the doors of the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse with their two twin daughters.
Waiving at their father, 61-year-old Chapo was reportedly reduced to tears in front of the jury.
Blowing kisses and waving back to the seven-year-olds, Chapo began mouthing words to his daughters before being reprimanded by a court marshal.
“He was visibly crying, eyes bright red and dabbing at his eyes,” his lawyer Eduardo Balarezo said to the Daily News.
This is the first time he’d seen his two girls, who wore matching outfits for the occasion, since August.
The emotional exchange is expected to have an impact on the jury, helping to humanize the defendant in light of the heinous charges he currently faces.
Two reporters even offered to move out of the way for the former drug lord so he could see his daughters more clearly. Their gesture was meet with a grateful thumbs up from Chapo.
Coronel is said to have let the little girls clamber all over her to get a better look at their father during the day’s proceedings.
Former beauty queen, Emma Coronel Aispuro, 29, is seen walking from the Brooklyn Courthouse in June, with the twin girls, 7, whom she had with El Chapo
El Chapo (seen above at his arrest in 2016) was reportedly reduced to tears when he saw his two daughters walk into the courthouse on Thursday. He last saw them in August, his lawyers say
Along with Coronel, 29, the two girls are the only family members permitted to visit Chapo since his extradition to the US last year.
His daughters visited their father at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan on Friday, where he is currently being detained in isolation.
The defendant has pleaded not guilty to 17 different indictments that include charges of drug smuggling, drug distribution, money laundering and conspiring to commit murder.
Prosecutors say Chapo was the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, which at one stage is believed to have been responsible for more than half of drugs smuggled across the Mexican/US border.
They believe he spent a quarter of a century smuggling cocaine into the US, amassing as much as $14 billion in wealth from doing so.
Prosecutors say El Chapo (above) was the former kingpin of the Sinaloa Cartel, who are believed to have once been responsible for half of all the drugs illegally smuggled across the US border
During the trial, the Jury has heard how El Chapo allegedly had his own army of ‘hundreds of men’ carrying gold plated AK-47s (left). Chapo’s is also accused of raking in up to $14 billion in illegal drug trade
From 1989 to 2014, the Sinaloa cartel smuggled 340,892 pounds (154,626 kilograms) of cocaine into the United States, as well as heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana.
Assistant US Attorney Adam Fels said authorities in the US had seized enough cocaine to form 328 million separate lines of the drug – enough for ever person in the US to have ‘a line’.
On the opening day of the trial, Fels said: ‘Money, drugs, murder; a vast global narcotics trafficking organization. That is what this trial is about and that is what the evidence in this case will prove.
‘You’ll have the chance to read his text messages, evidence of drug deals, killings, corruption.’
The prosecutor also alleged in his opening statements, Guzman had his ‘own private army’ of hundreds of men armed with assault rifles, as well as his own diamond-encrusted pistol branded with his initials and a gold-plated AK-47.
The Sinaloa Cartel used underground tunnels (pictured in 2016) to transport cocaine, heroin, and other drugs from Mexico to Arizona. A submarine was also seized with more than $100 million worth of cocaine on board, believed to have been under El Chapo’s command
He is also accused of using a secret underground tunnel built into a warehouse, to smuggle drugs between Mexico and Arizona, as well as using a submarine to transport $100 million worth of cocaine at a time.
However, El Chapo’s lawyers say he’s been scapegoated in a vast conspiracy plotted by the prosecution’s cooperating witnesses — who they argue are hoping to obtain visas for their testimony — and officials at the highest levels of the Mexican government.
The trial is expected to last up to 16 weeks.