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MOBBED UP: El Chapo just hired John Gotti’s lawyer

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Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán is perhaps the world’s most famous kingpin, but he’s currently facing life in prison in the U.S. for a variety of drug, conspiracy, and money laundering charges. In other words, he could really use a good lawyer.

After months of being represented by public defenders, Chapo has finally moved to hire an attorney with a track record of securing freedom for high-profile clients. VICE News has confirmed that Guzmán will be represented by Jeffrey Lichtman, a veteran New York criminal defense lawyer who is most famous for getting mafia boss John Gotti off the hook.

VICE News reported Monday that Chapo’s court-appointed attorneys, Michelle Gelernt and Michael K. Schneider, gave notice that Guzmán “executed retainer agreements with private counsel.” The new attorney does not formally represent him yet because there are concerns that the Department of Justice will seek “forfeiture of legal fees,” meaning the government could confiscate any money used by Chapo to pay for his legal defense.

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