NEW YORK POST:
When El Chapo appears in Brooklyn federal court on Tuesday for the first day of a bombshell trial, he’ll have a legal dream team to defend him — at a cost of at least $5 million.
The notorious Mexican cartel king, Joaquin Guzman Loera, 61, who faces life in prison for allegedly running a drug empire worth billions, will have top Manhattan lawyer Jeffery Lichtman on his side, along with two criminal defense attorneys who repped El Chapo’s rival.
Lichtman, 53, famously defended John “Junior” Gotti, son of the late Gambino family godfather John Gotti, on charges he ordered the failed hit on radio host Curtis Sliwa in 1992. Each of Junior’s three trials ended with deadlocked juries.
He’ll be joined by Eduardo Balarezo and William Purpura, who jointly defended Guzman’s nemesis, Alfredo Beltran Leyva, a kingpin known as “The Desert Ant,” on drug trafficking charges. Leyva got convicted last year and was ordered to hand over $529 million to the U.S.
Leyva was fond of wearing grenades strapped to his chest and was once a partner with El Chapo in the Sinaloa Cartel, but he was arrested by the Mexican military in January 2008. He blamed Guzman for ratting him out to the authorities and retaliated against him by ordering the murder of one of Guzman’s sons, Edgar.
El Chapo told the judge in his case that he wanted his family in Mexico to foot his massive legal bills, and there’s plenty of cash from cocaine and marijuana sales to do just that, a federal law-enforcement source told The Post