NEW YORK CITY – Prosecutors in the trial of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman took almost five hours to deliver closing arguments Thursday in Brooklyn federal court, asking the jurors to find the reputed drug kingpin guilty on all 10 counts against him.
Eastern District of New York prosecutor Andrea Goldbarg laid out the main evidence and testimonies presented in the last 10 weeks. Behind her, prosecutors from other districts such as D.C. and Florida who had helped assemble the case were present in the courtroom.
The defendant came into the courtroom in a good mood, smiling and waving at his wife in the audience, but his demeanor quickly changed. Guzman seemed nervous at times, though his attorney Eduardo Balarezo told Fox News that “he’s very calm” these days, not to mention “an optimist.”
Jurors were reminded of the cocaine seizures, the amount of heavy guns used by Guzman and the Sinaloa cartel and their violence. “This avalanche of evidence show the ways this defendant brought the drugs into the United States," the prosecutor told them. She pulled out of the chili can brand ‘La Comadre,’ one of the many ways the defendant allegedly used to smuggle drugs into the U.S.
Goldbarg also prepared the jury for what they may hear from the defense Thursday: "These witnesses are criminals. The government is not asking you to like them. … Their testimony is corroborative."
Finally, Goldbarg said "the defendant had a plan to conquer the drug world" and always had a plan for escape. And Goldbarg concluded: "He wanted to avoid sitting right here in front of you. Do not let him escape responsibility. Hold him accountable for his crimes and find him guilty on all counts".
Guzman faces the potential of life in prison if convicted. In this case, he would be taken to a ‘Supermax’ prison in Florence, Colorado, where he would stay in a solitary cell for 23 hours a day and would have visits and communications restricted.