Jurors in Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s drug trafficking trial got a last look at the ever-shifting face of a snitch who underwent extreme plastic surgery in a failed attempt to avoid arrest.
“You were recovering from some facial surgery, is that correct?” Guzman’s defense attorney, William Purpura, asked Colombian cocaine kingpin Juan Carlos Ramirez of his 2007 arrest.
“True,” smirked Ramirez on Tuesday, his third day of testimony against Guzman.
The 55-year-old said he’d undergone at least “three or four” cosmetic procedures before he was finally busted hiding out at his manse in Brazil.
Inside, authorities found multiple pieces of forged identification depicting Ramirez’s dynamic appearance. In the snaps, he’s sporting both silver and dark hair, different styles of mustache and occasionally glasses.
The documents show not only the North Valley Cartel leader’s chameleon-like disguises — but also the evolution of his face.
Ramirez testified he’d had his cheeks, jaw, nose, ears and eyes done.
“You were a handsome man,” Purpura commented as he projected a picture of the witness’ original visage.
Prosecutor Andrea Goldbarg immediately objected, to which Purpura responded, “All right, you weren’t a handsome man.”
Goldbarg again objected.
The now-patchy-haired Ramirez also told jurors he’d gotten hair plugs — and laughed heartily when Purpura, who is bald, joked, “How’d that work out?”
The North Valley Cartel leader, aka “Chupeta” or “Lollipop,” testified over three days that he sold coke to Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel during the 1990s.
Ramirez was later extradited to the United States to face drug trafficking charges and pleaded guilty in Brooklyn federal court in 2010.
Guzman faces up to life behind bars if convicted on charges of drug trafficking, murder conspiracy and weapons possession.
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