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Trial Of Infamous Drug Lord ‘El Chapo’ Guzman Due To Start In America - Details

Nov. 4 2018, Updated 7:04 p.m. ET

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Drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman is about to have his day in court.

The high profile dealer was tracked after an interview with Sean Penn is facing spending the rest of his life behind bars.

It is alleged that he spent a quarter of a century smuggling more than 155 tonnes of cocaine into the United States.

And his trial is due to start in Brooklyn Federal Court with anonymous jurors and high security.

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The trial is expected to run up millions of dollars in legal fees and take around four months to complete.

Legal experts say the case against Guzman is water-tight and could see him being sent to a maximum security prison for the rest of his life.

The Sinaloa cartel that Guzman founded in 1989 is still hugely powerful and his co-defendant Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada remains at large.

Jury selection will take place amid tight security conditions reserved only for the most dangerous defendants.

US district court judge Brian Cogan will preside over the process behind closed doors.

The 12 jurors, with six alternates, will remain anonymous and will be escorted by US marshals to and from court every day.

The jury will determine whether Guzman - the father of two whose nickname means "shorty" as he is only 5ft 2ins tall - is guilty or not of 11 trafficking, firearms and money laundering charges.

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According to the indictment, the Sinaloa cartel, which Guzman is accused of leading from 1989 to 2014, became "the largest drug trafficking organization in the world... with thousands of members".

It is estimated Guzman netted as much as $14 billion dollars by smuggling cocaine as well as heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana.

At one time he was on Forbes rich list but dropped out in 2013 after spending much of his money on protection.

In a secret meeting with actor Sean Penn which the Hollywood star wrote about in Rolling Stone magazine in 2016, the drugs dealer was glib about his career.

He boasted: "I supply more heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana than anybody else in the world. I have a fleet of submarines, airplanes, trucks and boats."

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