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'El Chapo' jury adjourns for week without reaching verdict

Jurors in the drug smuggling trial of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera finished a fourth day of deliberations on Thursday, and told the judge they didn't want to resume until Monday.

Eduardo Balarezo, left, an attorney for Joaquin "El

Eduardo Balarezo, left, an attorney for Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera arrives at federal courthouse in Brooklyn during jury deliberations in Guzman's trial Thursday.  Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Jurors in the drug smuggling trial of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera failed to reach a verdict after a fourth day of deliberations on Thursday, and told the judge they didn’t want to resume until Monday.

The fourth day of indecision seemed to cheer Guzman, who exchanged jovial smiles and hearty hugs with his lawyers as they called out to reporters to watch after the jury left. But there are no signs jurors are divided or doing anything other than methodically reviewing evidence from the 2 1/2-month trial.

Guzman, 61, is accused of smuggling tons of cocaine and marijuana into the United States along with heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamines as a leader of Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel. His indictment includes 26 alleged drug deals, multiple murder conspiracies, and firearms and money laundering charges.

Since getting the case on Monday, the jury has requested transcripts of testimony from six of the government’s 14 cooperating witnesses. On Thursday, they asked for excerpts relating to several charged drug deals from Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia, a one-time Guzman cocaine supplier known as “Chupeta” from Colombia’s Norte Valley cartel.

Since the trial started in November, U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan has generally given the jury Fridays off. He asked them if they would be willing to deliberate on Friday this week, but they declined to change the schedule.

In their only appearance in the courtroom late Thursday, at the start of their long weekend, jurors looked tired, but there were no indications of discord.

If Guzman is convicted, he faces a likely sentence of life in prison. He also faces additional charges in five other federal districts once the Brooklyn trial is over.


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