Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán, facing a myriad of drug charges in the U.S. that could result in a life sentence, appeared in a New York City court on Friday. Guzmán’s lawyers say their client has not been allowed to see his wife or Mexican attorney since he was extradited to the U.S., and that their access to Guzmán has faced “unusual restrictions,” reports BuzzFeed News. “We’re not even permitted to give Guzmán a glass of water,” said Guzmán attorney Michelle Gelernt.
At a hearing in Brooklyn federal court, Gelernt accused the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where Guzmán currently resides, of “stalling” to approve additional personnel — including Spanish speaking attorneys — and not seeking approval from the court to allow staffers from the Brooklyn federal defenders’ office access to Guzmán. Gelernt said the Bureau of Prisons has insisted that only those attorneys who are on an approved list be allowed in an office that the lawyers are using to conduct conference calls with Guzmán, a process that the Gelernt said has “never happened before.” Judge Brian Cogan said “we know the reason” for extra security measures. Guzmán is notorious for escaping incarceration.