Judge Denies "El Chapo's" Request To Be Hugged By Wife

By Bill Galluccio

November 8, 2018

Drug trafficker Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman is escorted to a helicopter by Mexican security forces

Notorious drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman had his request to see his wife and give her a hug denied by Brooklyn federal court judge Brian Cogan before his trial is set to begin. 

Guzman has been in solitary confinement for nearly two years after he was extradited to the United States to face charges stemming from over three dozens murders that authorities have linked to him. Prosecutors argued that allowing him any contact, even with his wife, could allow him to plan an escape like he did two previous times while being held by Mexican authorities. 

Cogan said that he was "sympathetic to the request" and pointed out that Guzman's behavior while in custody has been "exemplary, and he has displayed considerable grace under pressure." But in the end, Cogan said that he had to deny the request.

"The same concerns that warranted their implementation in the first place still exist today. If anything, this is especially true on the eve of trial, when the reality of the potential liability defendant faces if convicted may be setting in and his motivation to escape or threaten witness might be particularly strong."

Guzman is being detained in a high-security federal prison in Manhattan while his trial is being held in Brooklyn. Authorities are taking no chances when it comes to his security, shutting down the Brooklyn Bridge and transporting him with a large caravan of law enforcement vehicles, including an ambulance. 

Photo: Getty Images

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