Guzman Jurors Were Warned Not to Go Public

'Once that door is opened, it can't be closed,' judge said
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2019 7:40 AM CST
Guzman Jurors Were Warned Not to Go Public
In this courtroom drawing, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, center, gestures with his thumbs up after hearing the jury's verdicts, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, in New York.   (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

There has been a huge amount of public interest in the trial of Joaquin Guzman—but jurors who listened to months of testimony about the bloodthirsty Sinaloa drug cartel are in no rush to release tell-all books or make the rounds on talk shows. The identities of the 12 jurors who found "El Chapo" guilty this week have been kept secret, and US District Judge Brian Cogan warned them Tuesday not to speak to the media, reports Reuters. "Once that door is open, it can’t be closed again," he said. Cameras were banned in the courtroom during the drug lord's trial in federal court in New York, but the jurors' faces could be seen by friends and relatives of Guzman who attended the trial. One juror worried about retaliation dropped out before the trial began.

Derek Maltz, former chief of the DEA's Special Operations Division, says exposed jurors could be in real danger, as the cartel has "plenty of operatives" in the New York area. He says jurors should keep quiet about the trial, even when among family. "Some loudmouth uncle or aunt or sister or brother could actually put the jurors in a very difficult situation," he says. Guzman's lawyers, meanwhile, have been happy to talk to the press. Mariel Colon—a 26-year-old whose first client after graduating law school was Guzman—tells CNN that she was never afraid of him—and she spent up to 6 hours a day outside court meeting with him, as many as 7 days a week. "You guys know El Chapo. I know Joaquin Guzman. They are not the same. The despicable human being the press make him out to be, that is not the reality." (Guzman is widely expected to serve a life sentence here.)

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