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We’re back at the Chapo trial—and so is he—this morning for the 5th day of jury deliberations.
To recap: The jury got the case Feb 4 and immediately began asking for evidence in a way suggesting they are moving methodically through the government's presentation. That included something unusual: the complete testimonies of 6 govt witnesses or 1000s of pages of transcripts.
There was argument in court Thursday about the latest request: testimony by Juan Carlos "Chupeta" Ramirez, Chapo's Colombian supplier, on several maritime coke loads he made for the kingpin. Judge Cogan resolved it over the weekend, issuing an order about what the jury will see.
The normal process has been for jurors to start deliberating as soon as they're all in court around 9 or 930 am. We never hear from them unless they send a note to Judge Cogan which they have done every day so far. The jurors tend to work until 415 pm each day but Friday.
Some have asked about juror safety:
The jurors are anonymous known even to the judge only by numbers. They're picked up by federal marshals at or near their homes each day and are sent back the same way each evening.
Courtroom sketch artists are not allowed to draw their faces.
Day 5 of jury deliberations at the Chapo trial is headed toward an end. Still no verdict.
The jury asked for yet more testimony--from a DEA agent and a Coast Guard officer involved in three maritime seizures totaling more 35 tons of coke from 2004-2007.
They also asked if they must decide unanimously when considering the 27 sub-counts in Count 1 of the indictment, the top charge of continuing criminal enterprise.
The testimony request suggests, again, jurors are looking at the heart of the govt's coke case against Chapo: several boatloads sent from Colombia by his main supplier, Juan Carlos "Chupeta" Ramirez. One load was 12 tons, another 10, a third 15. Also: a 4.7 ton load on a sub.
The question about unanimity in the 27 sub-violations suggests just how intricate the charges in this case are.
Jurors indeed must unanimously find Chapo guilty of at least 3 of the 27 subcounts--but only three.
Some of the violations are also separate counts in the indictment.
By asking about unanimity the jurors could be suggesting there is a holdout on one or more of the violations or they could simply be confused that they have to decide all 27 violations unanimously to convict on Count 1.
It's a level of complexity the govt itself chose to use.
In general jurors seemed more tired today than they've been so far. Some even looked a little glassy-eyed. Two were taking notes during the read back of DEA agent Scott Schoonover's testimony. The other testimony--of Coast Guard Officer Clifton Harrison--was sent back to them.
It's official. Day 5 of deliberations are done. We're headed into Day 6.
Chapo looked pretty cheerful when the marshals brought him out for the read back. He shook hands with his whole legal team, waved to his wife, all with a big smile on his face.
There was one moment of levity in the slow, grueling day.
At 10 am, a group of lawyers showed up in court for another matter while the jury was out: a civil lawsuit against three banks.
The bank lawyers, looking very much like bank lawyers, were seated at Chapo's defense table.
One of Chapo's lawyers, Bill Purpura, jokingly told them not to sit in "Chapo's seat," explaining he "didn't like it."
Everyone knew it was a joke. But the seat remained empty nonetheless.
It’s a bit surprising the jury is still working on these maritime coke loads. There was a lot of evidence about them: testimony from the supplier, Chupeta; corroboration from Chupeta’s own ledgers and from his aide, German Rosero; plus the officials involved in the seizures.
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