Betrayal, DEA and satellite phone led to Chapo Guzman
6 Borderland Beat by Chivis / 1h // keep unread // hide // preview
Chapo can thank a satellite phone he used on Monday that led to his
location and capture. He called a subordinate, requesting help with
escaping from Culiacan, where he was hiding in a tunnel.
Based on information from senior officials of the federal government,
information originated during the capture of Daniel Fernández Domínguez
"The Pelacas", arrested on February 12th in Puebla by the Criminal
Investigation Agency (AIC) of the PGR and the Navy.
Fernández (in foto below) the Auguacalientes plaza chief, was once allied
with Los Zetas, before switching and becoming an ally of Chapo. Fernández
had recently spoken with both Guzman and Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada, and had
in his procession 20 cell phones had the time of his arrest.
Several of the phones had in their call logs various numbers with area codes
of Sinaloa. Within hours, the Technical Services of the AIC and Naval
Intelligence were aware that some of these numbers corresponded to Joel
Enrique Romero Sandoval, "El 19", brothers Apolonio El 30" and Cristo Omar
"El Cristo", Jesús Andrés Corrales Aztorga "El Bimbo" and Mario Miguel
Pérez Urrea "El Pitaya".
They suspects all belong to the security group of Zambada, led by "El 19."
With this information, the next day the AIC and the Navy stormed the town of
Reforma, Sinaloa, where they captured Joel Sandoval and his alleged
Corporations of the federal government acquired information using phone
data, of addresses, license plates, map links, and restaurants. They also
accessed photographs of the children by using drug trafficker's social
The arrested "el 19" group
Two factors were key in reaching "El Chapo":
The first was that one of the members of the group of "el 19" had in one of
their cell phones, a cell number, they said, belonged to "El Chapo," leader
of the Sinaloa Cartel.
The other crucial fact was that an informant alerted the U.S. Drug
Enforcement Agency (DEA) last weekend that "Chapo" and his partner "El Mayo"
Zambada would hold a meeting in Culiacan.
One obstacle confronting the PGR and the Navy is that the apparatus used by
Guzmán was a satellite phone. Federal officials said it was at this point
the DEA offered technology support, by the use of Geolocators (device that
On Monday, the day of the capture of "El 19", the PGR, the Navy and the DEA
traced the device.
Thereafter the U.S. accompanied Mexican agencies in the operation.
There was a chance that the capo would dispose rid of his satellite system.
In the initial calls the device was off. But in the passing of the hours, on
the same Monday, the cell was activated on during a call. Guzman was asking
for help to escape from Culiacán, where he said he was hiding in a tunnel.
His voice was compared to his known voice and it was positive match.
From that time the Navy almost surrounded the Sinaloa capital. Guzman's
phone was detected in a home in the Libertad colonia, where upon arriving,
AIC agents and the navy discovered tunnels under the bathtub, that
interconnected with the drain system which was exposed because the cover
had slipped. (this occurred at the home of Chapo's former wife Griselda
"Gris" Lopez Perez at left)
The pursuers determined the phone had activated and extinguished several
times during the same day. It was only activated when making calls.
On Monday a signal was detected in Mazatlán. Federal Government waited a
few days to study the activities of the phone and be sure Chapo's location
but also worked to study his security circles, including agents of port
"Had we will come straight to the puente on Monday or the day before, all
that would have been accomplished is a shootout and his fleeing. In order
to be successful, we had to study their security fences and the police
without being detected..
"The surveillance continued all week, he was tracked and his actions
defined," said a source involved with operation. The AIC and the Navy noted
that "El Chapo" driving a Cherokee sand color with a armor layer 7, the same
as the vehicle of U.S. Embassy in Mexico.
When the Mexican authorities arrived at the Miramar condo building in 608
Avenida del Mar, in Cologne Tellería they quickly subdued Carlos Manuel Hoo
Ramírez, one of Guzmán's bodyguards, who directed them to the fourth floor
condo, and they quietly making their way to the fourth floor through the
elevators and stairs.
At 6:40 AM the navy entered apartment 401 and overcame Guzman Loera.
"He could not believe that we had reached to him, "said an official.
Note: The following is also reported: Once they were at Guzmán's front door,
they broke into the condo and stormed the two rooms it had. In one of the
rooms was Guzmán, who was laying in his bed, reportedly with a female
companion; he tried to resist arrest and grab an AK-47 he had close to him.
Amid the quarrel with the marines, the drug lord was hit four times. By
06:40 a.m., he was arrested, taken to the ground floor, and walked to the
condo's parking lot, where the first photos of his capture were taken.