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Judge considers change of venue for ‘El Chapo’ trial

Emma Coronel, right, wife of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman leaves federal court in the Brooklyn borough of New York with her daughters, Tuesday, June 26, 2018. The upcoming trial of Guzman could get moved from Brooklyn to Manhattan. | AP Photo

NEW YORK — The upcoming trial of Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman could be moved from Brooklyn to Manhattan.

U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan told attorneys at a hearing on Tuesday that he was still considering a request by Guzman’s attorneys to change the venue for a trial later this year.

The defense argues that security measures used to transport Guzman from a jail in Manhattan to a Brooklyn courthouse create a public spectacle that’s prejudicial. The measures include closing part of the Brooklyn Bridge to make way for a police motorcade that’s tracked by helicopters.

Guzman has pleaded not guilty to charges that his Sinaloa cartel laundered billions of dollars and oversaw a ruthless campaign of murders and kidnappings. He faces life in prison if convicted.

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The lawyer for notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman says his client’s mental health is deteriorating. | AP file photo
The lawyer for notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman says his client’s mental health is deteriorating. | AP file photo