The Latest: Cartel member testifies at NY El Chapo trial

NEW YORK (AP) — The latest at the New York trial of Mexican drug smuggler El Chapo (all times local):

3:15 p.m.

An admitted former member of a Mexican drug cartel has identified Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman (wah-KEEN’ ehl CHAH’-poh gooz-MAHN’) as one of the organization’s leaders.

Jesus Zambada named Guzman Wednesday while testifying as a government witness at the drug kingpin’s Brooklyn trial.

Zambada testified Guzman partnered with his brother, Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, to run the Sinaloa cartel. He said before he was arrested in 2008, he served as a cartel lieutenant. He described himself as “the leader in Mexico City.”

He says Guzman operated a warehouse in Mexico City where cocaine flown in from Colombia was stored. Zambada also claims the cartel “controlled” an airport in Mexico City, and regularly bribed the government to give him protection.

Defense lawyers say Guzman is being framed.

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12:30 p.m.

Prosecutors have started presenting evidence to jurors in the trial of the notorious drug smuggler known as El Chapo by giving them a video tour of a tunnel between Mexico and an Arizona warehouse.

Retired U.S. Customs Agent Carlos Salazar testified on Wednesday as the first witness at the New York trial of Joaquin Guzman (wah-KEEN’ gooz-MAHN’).

Salazar described raids carried out on both sides of the border in May 1990.

The tunnel was half the length of a football field and big enough that a 5-foot-8 inch man barely had to lower his head to walk through it. It had electric lights and a hydraulic system to lift away flooring that was covered by a pool table.

The prosecution says Guzman used tunnels to speed drug deliveries to America. Authorities say tons of cocaine were rolled through on carts.

Defense lawyers say Guzman is being framed.

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11:05 a.m.

A U.S. judge has admonished the lawyer for Mexican drug smuggler El Chapo after an opening statement that riled Mexican presidents by accusing them of taking bribes.

Prosecutors at the New York trial had asked the judge to throw out the defense’s opening statement at the trial of Joaquin Guzman (wah-KEEN’ gooz-MAHN’).

The judge stopped short of that Wednesday, but admonished attorney Jeffrey Lichtman to stick to the evidence.

Lichtman had called the government’s motion “entirely without merit.”

Lichtman said Tuesday that his client was not the real leader of a cartel that sent tons of cocaine into the U.S. Lichtman blamed another reputed trafficker who he said evaded capture with bribes.

Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon and a spokesman for current President Enrique Pena Nieto vehemently denied the claims.

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10:15 a.m.

Prosecutors at the New York trial of the smuggler known as El Chapo have asked the judge to throw out the defense’s opening statement that accused Mexican presidents of wrongdoing.

The prosecution motion in the case of Joaquin Guzman (wah-KEEN’ gooz-MAHN’) was filed overnight, before the opening statements were set to resume Wednesday.

The defense calls the motion “entirely without merit.”

Defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman said Tuesday that his client was not the real leader of a cartel that sent tons of cocaine into the U.S.

Lichtman blamed another reputed trafficker who he said evaded capture by paying millions of dollars in bribes to Mexican presidents.

Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon and a spokesman for current President Enrique Pena Nieto vehemently deny the defense’s claims.