Opening statements finally began Tuesday in the trial for Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman — with prosecutors describing some of the notorious accused drug lord’s most heinous acts for jurors, along with his weapons of choice.
“Some of his favorites include a diamond-encrusted handgun with his initials on it and a gold-plated AK-47,” said federal prosecutor Adam Fels.
He recounted how Guzman allegedly ordered hits on his own loved ones and used a small private army — consisting of hundreds of men “armed with assault rifles” — to take out his rivals.
For the defense:
Guzman’s defense team, meanwhile, claimed during its opening statements that prosecutors were trying to use him as a “scapegoat.”
“There’s another side to this story, an uglier side,” said attorney Jeffrey Lichtman. “This is a case that will require you to throw out much of what you were taught.”
According to Lichtman, the real criminal mastermind is Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada — current leader of the infamous Sinaloa Cartel. The lawyer described the 70-year-old former poppy-field worker as “the biggest drug trafficker in Mexico.”