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Opening Statements For 'El Chapo' Trial Start In New York

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Opening Statements For 'El Chapo' Trial Start In New York
Joaquín Guzmán Loera, or "El Chapo," faces 17 charges spanning nearly three decades.
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Opening statements for the trial of Joaquín Guzmán Loera, or "El Chapo," are set to start Tuesday in New York. 

Guzmán faces 17 charges spanning nearly three decades. Prosecutors say Guzmán ran Mexico's Sinaloa cartel from 1989 to 2014. In that time, they allege the cartel brought cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana into the U.S. Prosecutors also charged Guzmán in connection with the assassinations of thousands of competitors. If convicted, he faces life in prison.

Guzmán was extradited to the U.S. last year and pleaded not guilty to all charges. Before his extradition, he escaped from maximum-security prisons in Mexico twice — once from a tunnel dug in his cell's shower. 

The Wall Street Journal reports a judge didn't let Guzmán hug his wife last week because his motivation to escape before trial might be pretty strong. 

Law enforcement officials say this is one of the most high-risk trials New York City has handled in years. The trial is expected to last several months. 

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN