US Prosecutors Oppose Easing Jail Conditions for El Chapo

3/22/2017 New York Times

elchapoU.S. prosecutors and lawyers for Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman are sparring over jail conditions that the lawyers claim are so stressful he’s hallucinating about music.

The claim was contained in a defense filing last week that asked U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan to order Guzman released from an ultra high-security wing of a Manhattan jail that’s housed alleged terrorists and mobsters, and be allowed in the general inmate population and receive more visitors.

The government fired back on Tuesday by arguing that the tough conditions — known as Special Administrative Measures — are appropriate for someone who escaped twice from prison in Mexico, including once through a mile-long tunnel dug to the shower in his cell. Prosecutors said that even while he was behind bars in Mexico, Guzman used coded messages, bribes and other means to control his Sinaloa cartel and orchestrate his breakouts.

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