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Escaped Mexican Drug Lord “El Chapo” Guzman And The Ways He Smuggled

Fugitive Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquín “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzmán used planes, submarines, trains, sailboats and tunnels to smuggle narcotics from Mexico into the United States, court filings show.

The man who became public enemy No. 1 in the United States after the death of terrorist Osama Bin Laden escaped from a Mexican prison a month ago and the Obama administration has repeatedly said it would like to extradite and try the drug lord.

Guzmán, who is believed responsible for thousands of deaths, is the subject of a $5 million reward in the United States and has a price of 60 million pesos ($3.8 million) on his head in Mexico.

Documents filed in U.S. federal courts show that the drug lord, who escaped from the Altiplano I federal prison in central Mexico through a 1.5-kilometer (nearly one-mile) tunnel, used subs, sailboats and cross-border tunnels to move narcotics into the United States.

The drug lord had been held at the prison in Mexico state, which surrounds the Federal District and forms part of the Mexico City metropolitan area, since his arrest on Feb. 22, 2014.

Guzmán faces drug, money laundering and criminal conspiracy charges in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego.

The drug lord’s son, Ivan Archivaldo Guzmán Salazar, known as “El Chapito,” and another Sinaloa cartel boss, Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, also face charges in the United States.

The Drug Enforcement Administration added Guzmán to its most-wanted list on July 16 and the Chicago Crime Commission once again named the drug lord “Public Enemy No. 1,” the dubious honor he had held before being captured last year.

Al Capone had been declared public enemy No. 1 by the Midwestern city in 1930 and no other criminal had been given the dubious distinction since the Prohibition-era gangster.

Guzmán, who was born in 1957, got his start in the drug business as a lieutenant of Miguel Angel Felix-Gallardo, the top leader of the Guadalajara cartel, in the 1980s.

Felix-Gallardo’s arrest and prosecution in 1989 led to the Guadalajara cartel being divided up and Guzmán relocating to Culiacán, the capital of Sinaloa state, and founding the Sinaloa cartel.

Guzmán was eventually captured in 1993 in Guatemala and sent back to Mexico, where he was convicted on bribery charges.

On Jan. 19, 2001, Guzmán escaped from the Puente Grande penitentiary in the western state of Jalisco, pulling off the Hollywood-style jailbreak by hiding in a cart full of dirty laundry in front of guards.

The Mexican drug kingpin’s wealth led to his name regularly appearing on Forbes magazine’s list of global billionaires.

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About author

Javier Manjarres

As the managing editor of The Shark Tank, Javier was awarded the 2011 CPAC Blogger of the Year. Countless videos and articles from the Shark Tank have been featured on Fox News, Politico, The Hill, NBC, Wall Street Journal, and other state and national news publications. Javier has also appeared on Univision’s “Al Punto” and numerous TV and radio shows, including being the one of NewsmaxTV's regular commentators. Javier is also a political consultant, and has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Learn more at

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