'El Chapo' asks judge to toss statements he made during DEA extradition flight

PHOTO: This file handout photo obtained, Jan. 20, 2017, released by the Mexican Interior Ministry, shows Joaquin Guzman Loera aka "El Chapo" Guzman escorted in Ciudad Juarez by the Mexican police as he is extradited to the United States. PlayInterior Ministry of Mexico/AFP/Getty Images
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Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman asked a federal judge in Brooklyn to suppress statements prosecutors claim the drug kingpin made during his January 2017 extradition to the United States.

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In a court filing Thursday, his defense attorneys said that it is not clear whether Guzman had been informed of his rights.

"Federal agents questioned Mr. Guzman as he was shackled on a DEA plane on its way to New York and the agents did not advise him of his rights," defense attorney Eduardo Balarezo said. "As a result, Mr. Guzman felt that he had no other choice but to answer the questions put to him."

PHOTO: Joaquin El Chapo Guzman, left, sits with his attorney, Michelle Gelernt, in a sketch of a court appearance at the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, May 5, 2017. Jane Rosenberg/Reuters
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, left, sits with his attorney, Michelle Gelernt, in a sketch of a court appearance at the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, May 5, 2017.

Guzman was flown from Mexico to the United States on Jan. 19, 2017, to face what Balarezo called "a laundry list of offenses," including operating a continuing criminal enterprise, participating in a wide-ranging drug trafficking conspiracy and distributing cocaine.

Balarezo did not mention the substance of the statements made by Guzman during the flight, but he said he was made aware of them earlier this month when the government disclosed their existence in a sealed filing.

"The government has not disclosed any information that indicates that the agents advised Mr. Guzman of his rights or that he waived them," Balarezo said.

Judge Brian Cogan, who is overseeing the case against Guzman, did not immediately rule on the defense request.

PHOTO: Handout picture released by the Mexican Interior Ministry on January 20, 2017, shows Joaquin Guzman Loera aka El Chapo Guzman, right, sitting in a chair as he is extradited to the United States on January 19, 2017, in an unknown location. Mexican Interior Ministry/AFP/Getty Images
Handout picture released by the Mexican Interior Ministry on January 20, 2017, shows Joaquin Guzman Loera aka "El Chapo" Guzman, right, sitting in a chair as he is extradited to the United States on January 19, 2017, in an unknown location.

Guzman faces up to life in prison if convicted but has pleaded not guilty.

His trial is set for September.

Cogan has said he plans to summon as many as 1,000 potential jurors who would arrive as soon as next month to receive questionnaires.