Nov 8, 2018, 1:07 PM ET

'El Chapo's' bid for hugs gets the cold shoulder from the judge


Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is too hot to touch, a New York federal judge ruled on Thursday.

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The ruling denied a request filed on Wednesday by attorneys for the world's most notorious alleged drug lord for permission from the court to hug his wife.

Defense attorneys asked that Guzman be allowed to give his wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, “a brief, momentary greeting to include perhaps an embrace” in court.

After three days of jury selection, a jury was seated on Wednesday in Brooklyn federal court, and trial is scheduled to begin next week.

His attorneys cast it as a “humanitarian gesture” for the alleged drug trafficker and murderer who was permitted no contact with his wife during nearly two years in solitary confinement.

In his ruling, Brooklyn federal judge Brian M. Cogan said he was sympathetic to the request but that it violates the special measures the U.S. Marshals Service has put in place for the reputed drug kingpin.

...a brief, momentary greeting to include perhaps an embrace.

"The Court is sympathetic to the request," Cogan wrote, adding that the "defendant's conduct....has been exemplary, and he has displayed considerable grace under pressure. Nevertheless...the court is constrained to deny it."

Cogan said in the ruling that granting the request would violate the security protocols of the U.S. Marshals Service, which is charged with both protection Guzman and preventing him from trying to escape or harm others as his criminal trial is set to begin next week.

Cogan went on to say that the security provisions placed on Guzman "are tailored to the Government's legitimate objectives of preventing defendant from coordinating any escape from prison or directing any attack on individuals who might be cooperating with the Government."

The judge said that the security concerns are "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 witnesses might be particularly strong."

Prosecutors in the widely-anticipated trial linked El Chapo to nearly three dozen murders and most of the cocaine and heroin used in the United States.

Guzman has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

[Guzman's security provisions are] tailored to the Government's legitimate objectives of preventing defendant from coordinating any escape from prison or directing any attack on individuals who might be cooperating with the Government.

Guzman was extradited to the U.S. in 2017, after two notorious Mexican jail breaks, and authorities in New York are taking no chances of a repeat performance on American soil.

Guzman is being housed in a high-security wing of a federal jail in Manhattan, but is being tried in Brooklyn.

That has led authorities to shut down the Brooklyn Bridge in order to transfer the alleged drug kingpin across the East River in a law enforcement caravan that has included a SWAT team, an ambulance, and helicopters circling overhead, according to the Associated Press.

It remains unclear, however, whether that transport pattern will continue through what is expected to be a months-long criminal trial. Security at the Brooklyn federal courthouse has been equally exacting, with bomb-sniffing dogs and metal detectors set up at courtroom entrance to complement the metal detectors at the courthouse entrance.

The names of witnesses against Guzman have been blacked out from court documents, and the jury will remain anonymous.

News - 'El Chapo's' bid for hugs gets the cold shoulder from the judge

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  • JJ

    Time for this guy to pay the piper.

  • concernedvoter

    Once Mueller puts Trump in Federal Prison he can Keep EL Chapo company ironing Chapos Prison Clothes and giving him lots of Trump love..

  • Cammosutra

    Personally, if he was shot trying to escape, I would lose no sleep over it. Call me a bad person or worse, but considering all he has done including two prison escapes, it is just how I feel.

    As for ANY contact with his wife or anyone else: no, NO!, and Hell NO!

  • Gwa Khaotrakul

    I’ve seen and read this man feature, he’s clever. Giving him a hug of this wife ? Do you think he will send/whisper some sort of information ?

  • MrTonyD

    When I see statements like "the court is constrained to deny it" - it just confirms my complete loss of trust in our court system. It sounds to me like the judge is trying to make it sound like he is unable to do anything - and that he is helpless. When, really, he is choosing not to do anything. Just another example of our corrupt government - I'd vote for locking up the judges along with Guzman.

  • Jiba

    I fired my landscaping guy because he looks just like that

  • concernedvoter

    EL Chapo wouldn't be safe in a Cell With Trump, Trump would Grope him to death. No ones Privates are safe around Trump especially if you fall asleep.. the Orangutang Man is a pig..

  • concernedvoter

    I'm surprised Trump hasn't given El Chapo a huge Hug.. Trump seems to love all these Tough Ruthless Dictator Killers like Putin, Duarte, Kim and Chi.. and I'm sure El Chapo has a few Billion hidden somewhere that Trump could use to pay off Judges..

  • EK the greek

    How about we put him down already guilt isn't at question here just how much time he gets and how much money the us tax payer end up paying

  • James_for_Today

    How 'bout letting him hug his wife with the caveat that a marshal with taser is standing by. That his wife is patted down, explosives-detected, that she is carrying no poisons and metal-detected? That an officer stands close to overhear any conversation? At least it would go down as the most observed hug in history.

  • Mr559rick

    El Chapo's career is over. Somebody should tell him.

  • John S. Henchey

    All he wanted was a hug...Trump would have wanted to grab her by the......

  • Sacredfeminine

    I seriously doubt he wanted a hug. He either wanted his hands free to orchestrate escape, wanted to whisper a directive to her or wanted to hold her as a hostage or maybe worse, kill her. Who knows what psychotic motive he had. He doesn’t strike me as a man capable of feeling love.... He wanted a hug my rear.

  • Thomas Campbell

    The judge had, "sympathy for the request"? I even cringed at that.

  • Andrea Brandon

    Prisoner privileges......get rid of all of them. Jail is supposed to be hard.

  • Hendrix27

    Oh so NOW he's a proponent of "Hugs not drugs"!

  • Omegacron

    Awww... El Chapo wanted a hug.

  • The_Splurge

    Hmmm, they're breaking him down before his trial.

  • L. Gray

    We should stop fighting the drug war now. Its over. Drugs won.

  • Thomas

    A hug from his wife is a privilege. Has this prisoner done anything to deserve such a privilege?