A trial date has been set for Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, one of the world’s most notorious criminals.

On April 16, 2018, the 59-year old Mexican drug lord will face charges that he oversaw a multibillion-dollar international drug trafficking operation responsible for murders and kidnappings.

The infamous kingpin was extradited to New York on January 19 and has been held in solitary confinement in Manhattan ever since. 

Guzman sat between his lawyers with a serious expression on his face, responding ‘yes sir’ when addressing the judge through an interpreter, and exchanging glances with his former beauty queen wife Emma Coronel, 27. 

A trial date of April 18, 2018 has been set for the infamous Mexican drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman for charges that he oversaw a multibillion-dollar international drug trafficking operation responsible for murders and kidnappings ('El Chapo', center, seen escorted by authorities on January 19, 2017 to Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan)

A trial date of April 18, 2018 has been set for the infamous Mexican drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman for charges that he oversaw a multibillion-dollar international drug trafficking operation responsible for murders and kidnappings ('El Chapo', center, seen escorted by authorities on January 19, 2017 to Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan)

A trial date of April 18, 2018 has been set for the infamous Mexican drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman for charges that he oversaw a multibillion-dollar international drug trafficking operation responsible for murders and kidnappings (‘El Chapo’, center, seen escorted by authorities on January 19, 2017 to Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan)

Guzman has been in solitary confinement since arriving in New York in 2017. On Thursday, alllowed him to communicate with his wife, 27-year-old Emma Coronel (pictured) through written questions and answers (Coronel seen exiting the courthouse in Brooklyn)

Guzman has been in solitary confinement since arriving in New York in 2017. On Thursday, alllowed him to communicate with his wife, 27-year-old Emma Coronel (pictured) through written questions and answers (Coronel seen exiting the courthouse in Brooklyn)

Guzman has been in solitary confinement since arriving in New York in 2017. On Thursday, alllowed him to communicate with his wife, 27-year-old Emma Coronel (pictured) through written questions and answers (Coronel seen exiting the courthouse in Brooklyn)

Guzman spent half the hearing looking across the courtroom at his wife, dressed head-to-toe in white, who smiled and waved to him as she entered (seen in a court sketch)

Guzman spent half the hearing looking across the courtroom at his wife, dressed head-to-toe in white, who smiled and waved to him as she entered (seen in a court sketch)

Guzman spent half the hearing looking across the courtroom at his wife, dressed head-to-toe in white, who smiled and waved to him as she entered (seen in a court sketch)

Guzman spent half the hearing looking across the courtroom at his wife, dressed head-to-toe in white, who smiled and waved to him as she entered.

The 59-year-old, famous for twice escaping from prison in Mexico, currently sits in solitary confinement at Metropolitan Correctional Center.

Guzman is kept in a 20-by-12-foot (6-by-3.7-meter) cell for 23 hours a day in a wing often used to house high-risk inmates including terrorists.

On Thursday, he lost his bid to relax the terms of his confinement when US District Judge Brian Cogan concluded that his current accommodations were appropriate.

Defense lawyer Michelle Gelernt (center) has repeatedly challenged the severe conditions of her client's custody and asked US judge Brian Cogan for permission to interact with Guzman in person rather than through a transparent plexiglass wall ( Attorneys Michael Schneider, left, and Gelernt are shown in a court sketch)

Defense lawyer Michelle Gelernt (center) has repeatedly challenged the severe conditions of her client's custody and asked US judge Brian Cogan for permission to interact with Guzman in person rather than through a transparent plexiglass wall ( Attorneys Michael Schneider, left, and Gelernt are shown in a court sketch)

Defense lawyer Michelle Gelernt (center) has repeatedly challenged the severe conditions of her client’s custody and asked US judge Brian Cogan for permission to interact with Guzman in person rather than through a transparent plexiglass wall ( Attorneys Michael Schneider, left, and Gelernt are shown in a court sketch)

Cogan deferred making a ruling until after another judge can visit the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan to assess the conditions in person (Coronel smiles, seen in a court sketch)

Cogan deferred making a ruling until after another judge can visit the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan to assess the conditions in person (Coronel smiles, seen in a court sketch)

Cogan deferred making a ruling until after another judge can visit the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan to assess the conditions in person (Coronel smiles, seen in a court sketch)

Guzman sat between his lawyers with a serious expression on his face, responding 'yes sir' when addressing the judge through an interpreter (Guzman seen in a court sketch)

Guzman sat between his lawyers with a serious expression on his face, responding 'yes sir' when addressing the judge through an interpreter (Guzman seen in a court sketch)

Guzman sat between his lawyers with a serious expression on his face, responding ‘yes sir’ when addressing the judge through an interpreter (Guzman seen in a court sketch)

The US government has said severe restrictions are necessary for Guzman in part because he used coded messages, bribes and other means to continue operating his drug empire from behind bars and arrange escapes. 

Judge Cogan said the government had good justifications for applying tough jail conditions on a man who escaped twice, including once through a mile-long tunnel stretching from the shower in his cell.

However, he relaxed the restrictions known as Special Administrative Measures enough for Guzman to communicate with his wife through written questions and answers.

On Thursday, Guzman lost his bid to relax the terms of his confinement when US District Judge Brian Cogan concluded that his current accommodations were appropriate (Coronel exits the courthouse in Brooklyn)

On Thursday, Guzman lost his bid to relax the terms of his confinement when US District Judge Brian Cogan concluded that his current accommodations were appropriate (Coronel exits the courthouse in Brooklyn)

On Thursday, Guzman lost his bid to relax the terms of his confinement when US District Judge Brian Cogan concluded that his current accommodations were appropriate (Coronel exits the courthouse in Brooklyn)

Judge Cogan said the government had good justifications for applying tough jail conditions on a man who escaped twice, including once through a mile-long tunnel stretching from the shower in his cell (Rosa Isela Guzman Ortiz, who claims to be one of the daughters of 'El Chapo' exits the courthouse)

Judge Cogan said the government had good justifications for applying tough jail conditions on a man who escaped twice, including once through a mile-long tunnel stretching from the shower in his cell (Rosa Isela Guzman Ortiz, who claims to be one of the daughters of 'El Chapo' exits the courthouse)

Judge Cogan said the government had good justifications for applying tough jail conditions on a man who escaped twice, including once through a mile-long tunnel stretching from the shower in his cell (Rosa Isela Guzman Ortiz, who claims to be one of the daughters of ‘El Chapo’ exits the courthouse)

Defense lawyer Michelle Gelernt has repeatedly challenged the severe conditions of her client’s custody and asked Jude Cogan for permission to interact with Guzman in person rather than through a transparent plexiglass wall.

She says the wall hinders communications, especially in preparation for a trial where they will be showing their client 10,000 or more documents. 

The judge said the matter will be investigated.

His lawyers also added that in a statement that it was ‘devastating’ for Guzman and his wife that they will not be allowed jail visits.

Guzman was brought to the U.S. in January to face charges that he oversaw a multibillion-dollar international drug trafficking operation. He has pleaded not guilty.

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