High-powered prosecutors and defense attorneys hailing from New York, Washington, Maryland and Florida entered phase one of trial this week in the U.S. government’s case against Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, accused of running a billion-dollar international drug cartel known as Sinaloa.

Alleged kingpin Guzman, 61, denies being in charge of the operations, claiming he was middle management. In recent years, he’s gained notoriety for twice escaping high-security prisons. Guzman’s legal team is reported to have cost $5 million.

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