No hugs for drug lord, judge rules

New York Daily News - - NEWS - BY MICHAEL GARTLAND

This drug-thug hug re­quest has been de­nied.

A fed­eral judge nixed Joaquin (El Chapo) Guz­man’s plea for some TLC from his Amer­i­can-born beauty queen wife on Thurs­day morn­ing.

The jailed Mex­i­can drug king­pin asked that the court grant him per­mis­sion to em­brace his wife, Emma Coro­nel Ais­puro, be­fore open­ing state­ments in his traf­fick­ing trial kick off next week.

U.S. Dis­trict Judge Brian Co­gan wrote Thurs­day’s that “the court is sym­pa­thetic to the re­quest,” cit­ing Guz­man’s “ex­em­plary” con­duct and “grace un­der pres­sure” dur­ing the pro­ceed­ings so far, but ul­ti­mately said no.

“Hav­ing con­ferred ex­ten­sively with the U.S. Mar­shals Ser­vice about de­fen­dant’s re­quest, the court is con­strained to deny it,” Co­gan ruled. “The mar­shals have stressed that ac­ced­ing to the re­quest would be con­trary to all the se­cu­rity pro­ce­dures that have been put in place.”

El Chapo’s at­tor­ney, Mariel Colon Miro, warned in a let­ter to Co­gan that her client might have a men­tal break­down if he can’t have any phys­i­cal con­tact with his spouse. Guz­man has been held in soli­tary con­fine­ment in New York for the past two years.

“It can be a brief em­brace in open court with the court­room rail­ing be­tween them. This en­tire process should not take more than a few sec­onds,” she wrote. “The only hu­man con­tact Mr. Guz­man has had since his ex­tra­di­tion has been with the jail per­son­nel when putting and re­mov­ing his shack­les, and a quick hand­shake from his at­tor­neys when he goes to court.”

Co­gan said in his or­der that the de­nial is meant to pre­vent Guz­man from co­or­di­nat­ing an es­cape “or di­rect­ing any at­tack on in­di­vid­u­als who might be co­op­er­at­ing with the govern­ment.”

Guz­man has es­caped from two Mex­i­can jails.

He has pleaded not guilty to 17 counts of drug traf­fick­ing, con­spir­acy, firearms of­fenses and money laun­der­ing.

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