NEW YORK — Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman‘s lavish way of life was described intimately on day two of testimony by Guzman’s former cartel lieutenant. Authorities witness Miguel Angel Martinez mentioned Guzman had a personal zoo the place huge cats roamed. Martinez additionally mentioned Guzman was so wealthy he was in a position to purchase quite a few seashore homes and that the 2 males would journey collectively.

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Guzman even sought an anti-aging remedy in a visit to Switzerland, based on Martinez.

“Did you hear the defendant order murders?” prosecutor Michael Robotti requested Martinez, a former Sinaloa Cartel lieutenant. He answered, “Sure.” Martinez was additionally requested whether or not Guzman ever mentioned killing individuals. Martinez mentioned Guzman advised him it was easy: “Both YOUR mother’s going to cry or THEIR mother’s going to cry.”

Within the early 1990s, Martinez mentioned the cartel skilled a “cocaine growth” and he did “all the things Mr. Guzman would ask me to do.” For that, he was paid $1 million a yr beginning in 1990.

He mentioned Guzman’s way of life modified over time. When the 2 met, “he did not have a jet,” Martinez mentioned. By the 1990s, “he had 4 jets,” based on Martinez.

A diamond-encrusted pistol that government witness Jesus Zambada said belonged to the accused Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman

A diamond-encrusted pistol that authorities witness Jesus Zambada mentioned belonged to the accused Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, is proven on this authorities proof picture at his trial for drug smuggling, in Brooklyn federal court docket in New York on Nov. 19, 2018.

U.S. Division of Justice

Guzman loved “whiskey, beer and cognac,” Martinez mentioned, and he carried a “38 tremendous pistol along with his initials in diamonds” and had a seashore home “on each single seashore.” Martinez mentioned Guzman’s Acapulco dwelling was value $10 million. Guzman owned ranches, warehouses, a yacht, and per Martinez, the chief’s Guadalajara dwelling was “a really good ranch home with swimming pools and tennis.” It additionally had a zoo with “tigers, lions, panthers, deer and slightly practice” guests used to get round, Martinez mentioned.

Martinez and Guzman have been shut. They loved many journeys collectively. “We traveled the world,” Martinez mentioned, then rattled off locales that appeared like they belonged on a bucket listing: “Brazil, Argentina, Aruba, all of Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Peru, Cuba, Colombia, Panama … nearly the whole world.”

They went to “authorized” cockfights, in Macau, “to gamble.” However Martinez wasn’t there when he mentioned Guzman traveled to Switzerland to “a clinic the place the put cells in you so you retain younger.”

All of this journey occurred utilizing pretend IDs. “I had pretend passports, pretend IDs, even a pretend U.S. visa,” Martinez revealed. He additionally mentioned Guzman traveled with pretend credentials. They did this as a result of they “bought machines within the U.S. and Europe” that would make false IDs, Martinez mentioned.

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The federal government’s witness defined how Guzman’s extravagant way of life prolonged to the kind of music performed in his automotive. Guzman loved “narcocorridos” — a ballad written for a selected particular person. The lyrics have been customized and the witness estimated they price Guzman between $200 and $500,000 per request. This was small potatoes, Martinez defined, as a result of a part of his job was depositing “$Eight or $9” million {dollars} into the Mexican banking system each month. Guzman’s jets have been routinely loaded up with cash in Tijuana after which despatched to Mexico Metropolis. Martinez estimated $Eight to $10 million have been placed on every jet — and people planes have been despatched on related pickups “nearly each month.”


A authorities exhibit picture proven throughout El Chapo’s drug smuggling trial in Brooklyn federal court docket in New York on Tue., Nov. 27, 2018.

U.S. Division of Justice

Martinez detailed how his job was to “obtain it, change it, make the funds and buy properties.” He mentioned Guzman’s life was costly since “he had four to five wives … we needed to pay all of them … and members of the cartel.”

Martinez testified how he carried the cash in Samsonite suitcases to a financial institution, made the deposits then paid Guzman’s payments in Mexican foreign money. When the financial institution officers gave him bother and requested in regards to the supply of the cash, Martinez lied: “I mentioned I exported tomatoes.”

After this, he started to repay financial institution staff.

Martinez mentioned at one level, Guzman gifted him a diamond Rolex. Guzman appreciated to provide presents. One yr, Guzman purchased 50 autos — a mixture of Thunderbirds, Cougars and Buicks — with the intention to reward them to his staff. The gesture price $30-35,000 per car.

In his heyday, Guzman usually traveled with “at the very least 20-25” pistoleros, an individual paid to kill. Martinez mentioned on the time of his arrest in 1998, “I feel 100” pistoleros have been working for the Sinaloa Cartel. These staff have been usually “gifted” cocaine. One of many first gunmen to work for Guzman can be paid “to kill a sure particular person …” and can be armed with “an AK-47, M-16s, grenades” and would make the most of bulletproof vests, armored automobiles and in addition carry “gases” like tear fuel. Martinez estimated the cartel spent as much as $500,000 on armored autos. They have been retrofitted in San Antonio. One time, Martinez mentioned he was requested to retailer “nearly 100 AK-47s at a warehouse in Guadalajara.” The weapons got here from the U.S. and Pakistan. The cartel bought weapons “one proper after one other” — each month.

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Martinez did not carry a gun and mentioned the “one time” he had a pistol in his workplace, Guzman advised him he “did not need to see me with any type of pistol … as a result of I did not know find out how to use them.” He mentioned he was by no means current for murders or kidnappings. And “by no means” participated in violence.

This did not cease him from threatening individuals. Martinez advised the jury how “two or 3 times I might get indignant whereas out and about.” He then defined how he used to get street rage. He then delved into his personal cocaine habits. Martinez mentioned “sadly, sure” he used cocaine. He was a each day person between 1987-1995, solely stopping as a result of his “septum perforated” in 1991 or 1992. He went again to it after he felt higher.

Martinez mentioned he tried marijuana, however “did not prefer it.” Martinez estimated there have been 5-10 tons of marijuana imported into the U.S. throughout his involvement, but it surely wasn’t an important match for the cartel since “a kilo occupied a variety of area” and was not good in comparison with the cocaine value. One kilo of cocaine offered for $15,000 on the time, Martinez mentioned, in contrast with simply $2,000 for marijuana.

Martinez, at one level, traveled to Thailand seeking “white heroin.” The worth was much more alluring, at $130,000 per kilo in New York Metropolis within the early ’90s.

Martinez famous how authorities rules got here into play when delivery their product disguised as meals: “Once you cross product from Mexico to the US, it ought to have particular authorization.” When prosecutor Michael Robotti requested whether or not that got here “from the Meals and Drug Administration,” Martinez mentioned, “that is proper.” 

Cartel members, based on Martinez, adopted this above-board mannequin with their “cloned” containers, cans and labels — packaged like peculiar La Comadre merchandise can be. The small group of cartel staff performing this activity “bought intoxicated” whereas urgent kilos, since cocaine can be launched into the air. The product was loaded onto a pallet, then transported from bodegas on 18-wheelers. It regarded like a legit cargo of meals, Martinez mentioned. The true pepper cans surrounded the cartel’s decoy cans packaged with a half-kilo of cocaine and a few “gravel” to provide the phantasm there was meals and liquid inside. Martinez mentioned this methodology was used to ship 25-30 tons of cocaine to the U.S., totaling between $400-$500 million annually.

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A authorities exhibit picture proven throughout El Chapo’s drug smuggling trial in Brooklyn federal court docket in New York on Tue., Nov. 27, 2018.  

U.S. Division of Justice

The choose is clearly searching for to maneuver the trial alongside, noting to the prosecution after lunch how the federal government ought to “streamline as we transfer ahead.” Robotti advised Choose Cogan they began this with “two of our longer witnesses” and issues would choose up.

Martinez defined how Guzman appreciated to wiretap individuals and defined how that made his boss “environment friendly.” Guzman would place transmitters in pens and calculators. He had scramblers for telephones and the flexibility to document calls, based on Martinez.

“I noticed the machines and I heard conversations” in Mr. Guzman’s workplaces, Martinez defined. He “noticed suitcases the place you might document three or 4 or 5 cellphones” onto cassette tapes. He was wiretapping “everybody that he needed: enemies, pals, compadres,” Martinez mentioned.

Martinez mentioned Guzman had the “most quantity of data within the surroundings” and this was environment friendly. Guzman as soon as advised Martinez it is “most necessary … to know what everybody was occupied with …”

After Guzman’s preliminary arrest in Guatemala on June 8, 1993, Martinez mentioned he flew off to Europe for 45 days, “attempting to cover myself.”

“I by no means actually had the character to be the chief of a cartel,” he mentioned.

Some 5 months later, Martinez mentioned he met with Guzman contained in the jail at Ciudad Juarez. “A variety of politics” delayed his preliminary go to, Martinez mentioned, however when jail administration modified, he discovered a friendship with an individual near a jail official. Martinez mentioned that man was paid “$30 to $40,000” a month. Consequently, Guzman obtained “what he needed” — a cellphone and to “eat sure meals.” He requested for “particular sneakers and particular jackets.” He additionally requested to see “all of his wives” and to domesticate “intimate relationships” with them.

A part of Martinez’s duties as a lieutenant was to “deal with” Guzman’s households whereas he was in jail. Martinez mentioned he supplied for one among Guzman’s wives and their 4 kids for a interval of 5 years, till he was arrested in 1998. “They have been at all times advantageous,” Martinez testified.

Originally of the trial, Guzman requested the court docket’s permission to hug his spouse. That was denied by the court docket.

Monday’s sidebar about “surveillance cameras” capturing Emma Coronel Aispuro utilizing her cellphone threatens to clamp down on her contact with the defendant. It is unclear what occurs along with her entry or units till subsequent week.

The prosecution will proceed with Martinez Wednesday morning.

The protection is anticipated to start cross-examination in some unspecified time in the future Wednesday.


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