00:22 GMT08 August 2020
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    Drug Enforcement Administration internal documents obtained by the Associated Press reveal that the US knew about plans for Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán’s escape since a month after he was captured.

    In March 2014, following Guzmán’s high-profile arrest in Mexico in February, agents in Los Angeles reported a plot funded by another drug organization to threaten and/or bribe prison officials.

    By July, an investigation revealed that Guzmán’s son had hired a team of military counterintelligence operatives to design a plan for his father’s freedom.

    The following December, Houston DEA agents reported "that a deal was in place to release both Guzman-Loera and imprisoned Los Zetas Cartel leader Miguel Angel 'Z-40' Tevino-Morales."

    None of the documents provided information relevant to Saturday’s escape, but given this information it is surprising that more measures were not in place to prevent the prison break, despite promising that Guzmán was secure.

    Currently, approximately 30 prison guards are being detained for questioning with the aid of the US Justice Department, as Guzmán is also charged with a variety of serious crimes in the United States.

    Guzmán escaped on Saturday evening through a shaft in his prison shower that opened into a mile-long tunnel complete with ventilation, lighting, and a motorcycle.

    "It's very disappointing, and quite frankly I'm stunned — although not surprised — that this happened," former DEA regional director in Mexico David Gaddis told CBS News. "You cannot take somebody of that caliber in the criminal world and treat them as if they're any run of the mill prisoner."

    According to additional documents obtained by the AP, the cartel leader also continued to run his operation from behind bars.

    "Despite being imprisoned in a 'high security' facility, DEA reporting further indicates Guzman-Loera was able to provide direction to his son and other cartel members via the attorneys who visited (him) in prison and possibly through the use of a cell phone provided…by corrupt prison guards," the documents stated.


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