El Chapo Trial: Joaquin Guzman Was Taken Down After FBI Flipped His I.T. Guy

Here’s a transcript from one of the phone calls we heard yesterday in which Chapo warns his enforcer Cholo Iván “don’t shoot whoever sells cocaine.”https://t.co/znz31DgguE pic.twitter.com/bleHJ24n3q

— Keegan Hamilton (@keegan_hamilton) January 9, 2019

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The FBI were able to gain unprecedented access to the inner-workings and day-to-day operations of the Sinaloa Cartel. The FBI has recordings of over 800 phone calls made by the cartel members and 200 by El Chapo himself. In one wiretapped call, Guzman sells a client to accept a shipment of meth instead of cocaine. In another phone call, El Chapo asks his employee named “Gato” if a police commander is “receiving the monthly payment?” Then he handed the phone to a corrupt police commander so that he can personally request a “special favor.”

Cifuentes, who is the patriarch of a prolific Colombian drug family, cooperated with US authorities and testified against El Chapo in cour. Prosecutors played several calls between him and El Chapo during the trial. One particular dialogue between the two drug kingpins was the negotiation of purchasing eight tons of cocaine from FARC guerrillas in Colombia.

Chapo’s lawyers want ask an upcoming witness, believed to be Alex Cifuentes, about bribes his brother Pacho paid to a suspected DEA agent in Colombia. Alex also had reason to believe Pacho was working with the CIA.https://t.co/a2seF9KrrY pic.twitter.com/d7uhjyk8Qi

— Keegan Hamilton (@keegan_hamilton) January 9, 2019

Marston said El Chapo’s voice has a “kind of a sing-songy nature” and “nasally undertone.” The phone calls provided FBI agents with extensive samples of Joaquín Guzmán’s voice, as did the interview El Chapo did with actor Sean Penn for Rolling Stone magazine. Rodriguez is expected to testify against Chapo, possibly as soon as Wednesday.

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The 61-year-old Guzman was extradited to the United States in 2017 after escaping from a Mexican prison twice. The cartel leader has been on trial since November where he and his team of lawyers have pleaded not guilty to a 17-count indictment that includes drug trafficking, money laundering, conspiracy, and weapons charges. He is charged in six federal jurisdictions, including New York, Chicago, and Miami. The alleged crimes, including smuggling more than 155 tons of cocaine, spanned a 25-year time period and Guzman faces up to life in prison. A new, previously unreleased photo of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán was presented in court on Tuesday.

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