El Chapo, Troppo, Keegan Hamilton discussed on Marketplace

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It's on the ground that the president wants NPR media. Correspondent David Folkenflik. Thanks, david. You bet. You're listening to all things considered from NPR news. One of the most notorious drug kingpins in the world is on trial in federal courthouse in Brooklyn opening statements began today in the case against Joaquin Guzman, better known as El Chapo, El Chapo, has pleaded not guilty to charges that could send him to prison for life. The counts range from drug and weapons conspiracy to money laundering. We're joined now by someone who was in the courtroom today, Keegan Hamilton host devices, podcast, Chapo, welcome. Thank you for having me on here from the courthouse. So we know this is not a typical trial because for one thing. US marshals are escorting jurors to and from the courthouse each day. What did it feel like to be in the courtroom today? It was a pretty interesting day at two of the jurors actually dropped out this morning at one of them because they said they were afraid to participate in the trial. Some most of the morning with spent trying to find two replacements to fill their slots in opening statements didn't start until later in the afternoon and some of the jurors appeared a little uncomfortable and is hard not to be with the level of security. That's inside the courtroom in all over the courthouse. In around the perimeter of the courthouse now, El Chapo has this really felt flamboyant history, he's become this larger than life. Character. Have new details about his story come out at this trial so far about how he allegedly ran this multibillion dollar drug rain, so in the in the prosecution's opening statement, and they went I this afternoon, these sort of outlined in broad strokes. Exactly what you just mentioned the this figure of El Chapo who ran his multibillion dollar drug empire. And was personally responsible they allege for multiple murders. What was new is? We heard for the first time today what the defense plans to say in response to that. And essentially their takeaway is that Trump alleged partner in the scene a little cartel miles. Imbaba is the real leader of the cartel and had put the spotlight on troppo to take away from from him. Now. My of course, is still free in Mexico has never been captured. And some of his his sons are expected to be cooperating witnesses against troppo. So that's usually the defense's main strategy is is mostly these other guys. It wasn't El Chapo, it was it was this one other guy who's his partner saying that we can make troppo famous and put the spotlight on hand. While I take care of my business without attracting the attention the other element that the defense played up today, which was kind of expected was that all of the cooperating witnesses who are expected to testify against Trump can't be believed simply because they're criminals who are cooperating in exchange for leniency from the government. How much evidence does it feel like the prosecution has on El Chapo? I mean, do you have a sense that we are going to be expecting a really strong case being put forward in the coming weeks. So in addition to those cooperating witnesses, there's at least sixteen of them that that we know about we don't know their names exactly yet. But the government also today referenced text messages, they have Trump audio recordings some video recordings including video that he made for Sean Penn in his interview with Rolling Stone, essentially discusses being a drug trafficker. So it seems that they have a wealth of evidence to pull from and it's unclear whether or not the jurors are going to buy it was all some other guy making troppo looked like the kingpin. That's Keegan Hamilton, the host of the podcast chop. Oh, thank you very much for joining us today. Thanks for having me..

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