A Brooklyn federal judge has denied Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s request for a new trial and an evidentiary hearing based on alleged juror misconduct, according to court documents. U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan denied the request, which was made after a February Vice News story reported that jurors had violated a judge’s orders by following the case in the media during the 11-week trial. Cogan said there “is no indication that this news coverage was prejudicial to defendant in anyway,” and there was “a mountain range of evidence” that directly implicated the notorious drug kingpin in the crimes with which he was charged. “A rational, hypothetical, average jury would certainly have convicted defendant of the crimes charged in the indictment based on the overwhelming amount of direct evidence presented during trial that defendant did, in fact, commit those crimes,” Cogan wrote in Wednesday’s ruling.
Guzman, 61, was convicted in February of leading “the largest drug-trafficking organization in the world” after six-days of deliberation. After two escapes from prison in Mexico, Guzman will be sentenced this month.