El Chapo’s wife, Emma Coronel, went to Brooklyn to support her husband while he is being tried for multiple murders and drug trafficking.
Last Friday was the first time that the couple got to see each other since Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Loera aka El Chapo was extradited to the United States to face prosecution for his crimes.
El Chapo’s wife was denied visits by the judge due to the high risk that the prisoner imposed.
Guzman is not just an infamous drug lord who ruled the equally notorious Sinaloa drug cartel in Mexico but, he also became famous for his daring prison escapes.
On January 19, 2001, El Chapo Guzman was able to escape from a Mexican prison by bribing a prison guard. The guard opened El Chapo’s cell door and the latter hid in a laundry cart, which was carried out of the prison.
El Chapo then snuck into the trunk of a car, and the prison guard he bribed drove the vehicle far away from the prison.
The second time El Chapo escaped was in 2015 when he found access through a tunnel underneath a maximum security prison in Mexico.
According to NBC New York, the tunnel El Chapo used to escape was a mile long, and it was found underneath a shower stall in his cell.
Seeing that El Chapo is a serious flight risk, federal marshals and prison officials deem it necessary to impose strict measures to ensure that Guzman won’t escape again.
But his lawyers are arguing that some of the restrictions they implemented are too much, one of which is that El Chapo’s wife is denied the chance to visit her husband.
Michelle Gelernt, Guzman’s attorney, spoke with New York Daily News and she told them that El Chapo’s wife appearing in court was the only way for her to see her husband, implying that the restrictions placed for their client were way too harsh.
Gelernt added that the multiple restrictions on her client are making it more difficult for them to figure out how to fight the charges.
Another detail that Gelernt brought to the judge’s attention was El Chapo’s allotted time for physical fitness.
She told the judge that El Chapo is only being given one hour for exercising, which Guzman’s attorneys deem to be not enough for the well-being of their client.
Gelernt also mentioned that El Chapo was even denied a glass of water when she visited her client in prison, which she considered to be ridiculous seeing that a glass of water could not in any way help him escape.
She said, “I don’t think there’s any thought that if I have the guards give him a glass of water during a three-hour meeting that somehow that’s going to effectuate his escape.”
El Chapo’s defense attorneys argue that due to the popularity of their client, El Chapo’s jailers are overzealous about guarding him, so much so that they even see a glass of water as a possible means of escape for Guzmán.
But Brooklyn Federal Judge Brian Cogan, the man in charge of hearing out El Chapo’s case, argues that the strict rules are warranted due to the prisoner’s history of escaping heavily guarded prison facilities.
El Chapo listened to an interpreter while Judge Cogan explained the implementation of strict rules for him.
He said, “Based on what I know about this case, there are grounds for extra security measures,”
“They’re taking extra security measures,” Cogan added, “I think we all know the reasons for that… The public history of this defendant is unusual.”
Guzman is due to appear in court again on May 5 and due to the severe restrictions that the federal marshals implemented, that will probably be the only time that El Chapo’s wife will get to see him again.
[Featured Image by Eduardo Verdugo/AP Images]