US officials demand $ 12.6 billion from El Chapo

 Federal prosecutors in the United States said on Friday they were seeking $ 12.6 billion from Mexican drug tycoon Joaquin El Chapo Jozman.

Prosecutors explained that the large sum was a "conservative" estimate of the sums collected by Guzman for drug-related offenses.

A jury in New York in February convicted Jozman, 62, of drug trafficking to the United States for decades.

Prosecutors said Guzman was responsible for selling more than 500,000 kilograms of cocaine in the United States, valued at $ 11.8 billion, as well as hundreds of millions of marijuana and heroin sales.

It is not clear whether the government will be able to recover the money from Guzman.

"This is a very theoretical exercise, because the government has never determined where one penny of the $ 12.6 billion is in the form of profits collected by Mr. Guzman," Guzman's lawyer Jeffrey Lechmann was quoted as saying in court on Friday.

A judge in New York last week rejected a request from the Guzman defense team for a new trial.

Judge Brian Kogan on Wednesday rejected a request from Guzman's lawyers for an investigation into a jury member's misconduct and the possibility of retrial.

Jozmann's defense team said their client did not receive a fair trial and pointed to an interview with a jury, in which he said jurors and others routinely followed Twitter tweets during the case and became aware of the news reports, which contradicted the judge's orders.

 

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