Prior to being arrested, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman became the world's richest and most dangerous drug lord by staying out of public view and surrounding himself with people of unyielding allegiance.
Now both of those are vanishing as El Chapo sits in a New York lock-up waiting for his trial on federal drug charges set for April 16 of next year.
El Chapo and his illicit empire will be on full public display if the government presents the dozens of videos it claims to have in an evidence vault. Newly filed court records reveal prosecutors have 41 videos they could use in the case against the kingpin.
"Ten videos from search of a residence controlled by the defendant" prosecutors have included in their list of planned evidence and "thirty-one videos related to various drug seizures and the discovery of an underground tunnel."
Guzman, 60, was arrested in January 2016 after escaping from a Mexican prison a year and a half earlier. He had tunneled out of his prison cell with the help of numerous operatives. It was El Chapo's third escape. His first, in 2001, was in a laundry basket and said to have been planned by prison employee Damaso Lopez Nuñez who went on to be El Chapo's closest associate.
Before Lopez Nunez was captured in May he was on track to become the Sinaloa Cartel boss in El Chapo's absence. Now Lopez Nunez himself is on course for extradition to the U.S.
Last week, in another blow to the cartel, Lopez Nunez' son surrendered to U.S. ICE agents at Mexico border according to EFE, the Mexican news wire. Damaso Lopez Serrano, a.k.a. "Mini Lic," was also El Chapo's godson and had been the target of a manhunt by drug investigators in Mexico.
Also now in U.S. custody is El Chapo's mistress, Lucero Guadalupe Sanchez Lopez. The former Mexican legislator was nabbed last month in while trying to enter San Diego. She is currently facing a federal indictment on conspiracy to launder cartel money and will be tried in Washington, D.C.
There is no indication the mistress or the successor are cooperating in the case against El Chapo. As for the drug lord's godson who surprisingly surrendered last week to American officials, there is simply no public information on his plans or the plans authorities have for him.
Feds have 41 videos to use against El Chapo
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