El Chapo Prosecutors Ask Judge to Sanction Defense Over Wife’s Cellphone in Court

Federal prosecutors in the El Chapo trial have asked a judge to sanction defense lawyers over the alleged use of a cellphone in court by the accused Mexican drug lord’s wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro. Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is on trial for trafficking narcotics into the U.S. and using violence to maintain control over his illicit business known as the Sinaloa cartel. He has pleaded not guilty. In a letter to the judge, prosecutors said an unnamed person “appears to have used cellular telephones in concert with an attorney visit to the defendant following two trial days last week to facilitate unauthorized and... impermissible contact.” Security footage from the courtroom allegedly shows Aispuro using a cellphone in court. The judge has already taken steps to prevent any contact between Guzman and his wife—refusing the defendant’s request to hug her in the courtroom—in order to block any potential escape plans. Guzman has repeatedly eluded custody. In 2014, he escaped through a tunnel constructed under a maximum-security prison.