Notorious Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán has kicked his long-suffering, court-appointed attorneys to the curb and hired John ”Junior” Gotti’s defense lawyer.
Guzmán has been represented by a trio of lawyers with the Federal Defenders of New York since his extradition to Brooklyn in January, who have tirelessly worked to advocate on behalf of the deadly diva–who constantly complains he’s being held under the “worst” conditions in the entirety of the U.S.
Yet the diminutive kingpin has recently retained Jeffrey Lichtman part of the legal team that helped get the Dapper Don’s son acquitted in 2005 on a $25 million securities fraud charge.
The high powered defense lawyer told The Post Tuesday he’ll be appearing alongside El Chapo’s current defense team Monday, during the drug lord’s next court appearance,
Lichtman is waiting to officially take the case until prosecutors assure they won’t seek “forfeiture of legal fees” or go after the money Guzmán would use to pay for his legal defense, according to a letter filed Monday in Brooklyn federal court.
Guzmán’s public defenders, Michelle Gelernt, Michael Schneider and Edward Zas, asked the judge to set a deadline for the government to say whether it’ll go after those funds.
The feds are already seeking a forfeiture of $14 billion in assets stemming from Guzmán’s massive Sinaloa drug cartel.
El Chapo’s current lawyers are fighting that attempted seizure as well, claiming the forfeiture was not part of Mexico’s original extradition treaty with the U.S.
Lichtman won Gotti’s case after the jury deadlocked on the additional racketeering charges against him, and the court dismissed three murder conspiracy charges.
Guzman’s trial is scheduled for April of next year.