CrimeEditors’ pick

Emma causes courtroom drama as El Chapo trial continues

Chivis Martinez Borderland Beat

In opening statements,
El Chapo defense attorney Jeffery Lichtman described a cooperative witness as a
coke addict having a 4 gram a day cocaine habit that caused his “nose to fall
off”.
The man he was speaking
about, Miguel Ángel Martínez, took the stand Monday in the El Chapo trial. 
The court opened
without the jury for some legal housekeeping.  

Emma Cell Drama: The government and
Judge Cogan have gone to great measures assuring that Martinez’ likeness is not
for public consumption.  And no
electronic devices are to be used or in the courtroom except by attorneys.  The courtroom artist has been ordered to draw
the witness with a “blank face”.

However, the wife of El
Chapo, Emma Coronel seemed to defy that order yesterday.
 Emma was accused of having her mobile device
in the courtroom just before the secret cooperating witness was set to take the
stand against her husband.

In a sidebar Cogan reprimanded
the action and said, “I think defendants [attorneys] are aware, she is not
supposed to have a cell in the courtroom.”
The government raised
the concern that photos would be taken of the protected witness.



Update: One day after
prosecutors saw in a video, caught Emma Coronel bringing a cellphone into the
courthouse, they moved to sanction Chapo’s lawyers, saying that last week they
used a phone to help her have “impermissible contact” w/her husband
A former DEA agent took
the stand to explain the processes of money laundering

Martinez was the former pilot of El Chapo, who was actually fired by Chapo for “being a bad pilot” after an aircraft malfunction. 

Martinez also had the job of maintaining contact with the Colombian cartels.  

Martinez described in how
El Chapo, how El Chapo built his empire from 20 employees and mid 1980s to a
virtual “corporation” with 200 staffers trafficking tons of cocaine by Zodiac
boats and paying millions in bribes to top officials.
He said that the
Sinaloa Cartel transporting up to 800 tons of cocaine a night between Colombia
and Mexico using 10 different planes.
It was a smooth
operation, unless Mother Nature would make a disastrous presence.
The former pilot
described how one captain was transporting cocaine cargo worth 107 million when
a massive hurricane hit.
“It was one of the biggest hurricanes that ever formed in the Pacific” It capsized the boat,” he said. “We never
heard from them again.
He said Guzmán was
“very worried” and sent four jets in search of the lost boat, which was never
found.
He testified about
payoffs. Some to Guillermo González Calderoni, [at left] the former chief of PGR in
Mexico City who was assassinated in 2003 [in McAllen Texas].  “Guillermo was his friend.  He was sent, on about two or three occasions,
about $10 million each time.”
The money was sent on
Guzmán’s planes and after the chief was paid, ,
González would provide
intelligence,  and let the cartel operate
in peace, he said.
Martinez
says he escaped death twice

Once, in 1998, after
his arrest, a group of his would-be killers,  stabbed him repeatedly in prison. Shortly
after that murder attempt, he says, someone threw two hand grenades into his
cell. Martinez says he avoided death by hiding behind the toilet bowl in his
cell.
He says he last saw El
Chapo in 1994 in a Mexican prison.

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