CRIME

US judge won't let El Chapo out of solitary confinement

A U.S. judge has rejected a bid by Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman (wah-KEEN' ehl CHAH-pho gooz-MAHN') to get out of solitary confinement.

Guzman's lawyers had asked Judge Brian Cogan to order him released from an ultrahigh-security wing of a New York jail that's housed terrorism and mob suspects. They also wanted the judge to ease restrictions on his communications with the outside world.

The judge ruled Thursday in favor of prosecutors who had argued that the strict confinement is needed to keep Guzman from trying to control the Sinaloa cartel from behind bars. The judge agreed to let Guzman communicate with his wife but only through screened letters.

Guzman has pleaded not guilty to charges he oversaw a multibillion-dollar drug trafficking operation responsible for murders and kidnappings.