Jury selection begins Monday in the federal trial of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.
US prosecutors say that as the head of the Sinaloa Cartel, Guzman directed the movement of multi-ton shipments of drugs including heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine across borders and into the United States.
Prosecutors spent years piecing together a case against Guzman, who was extradited last year after twice escaping prison in Mexico - first hidden in a laundry cart, then slipping down a tunnel that reached his prison shower.
At pretrial hearings leading to the trial, heavily armed federal officers and bomb-sniffing dogs patrolled outside.
Guzman, who was captured in 2016 after tunneling his way out of a maximum securiy Mexican jail, was brought to New York City in January 2017 to face murder and drug conspiracy charges.
He was recruited by Guadalajara cartel boss Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, known as "The Godfather" of Mexico's modern drug cartels.
Opening arguments are scheduled to start on November 13, after a week of jury selection, held behind closed doors under security reserved for the most unsafe defendants.
Opening statements are tentatively scheduled for November 13. US Marshals will escort them to and from court every day.
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The judge struck two women after they raised security concerns about presiding over the proceedings, expected to cost millions and turn into the most expensive federal trial in U.S. history.
One juror was excused after she said she couldn't be impartial, saying, "I feel very bad about drugs".
It is these ordinary men and women who will determine whether Guzman - the diminutive father of two whose nickname means "shorty" - is guilty or not of 11 trafficking, firearms and money laundering charges.
Prosecutors describe Guzman as one of the most unsafe and feared drug kingpins, who between 1989 and 2014 ran the world's largest drug trafficking organization.
Guzman was extradited to the United States in January 2017 on an indictment that detailed his alleged reign over a merciless trafficking organization controlled through murder and torture. The Sinaloa cartel that Guzman founded in 1989 is still hugely powerful. "I think this is indicative of the fact that the Sinaloa cartel has probably infiltrated the drug industry in our country", said PNP spokesman Senior Supt.
There's now speculation that a special cell for Guzman has been set up in the bowels of the courthouse where he will spend the night after his days in court.
The long-awaited trial of Guzman, who prosecutors believe hired assassins to knock off rivals with a string of accused violent acts to protect the cartel, will start with the jury pool arriving answering a lengthy questionnaire, according to the New York Post.