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The Phone Dragnet That Caught the World's Top Drug Lord

Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes | about 8 months ago

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Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "The contacts on Zambada-Ortiz's phone, which officials seized, would prove critical in pinpointing cartel stash houses strewn across Sinaloa state in mountainous northwest Mexico. Crucially, the episode would breathe new life into the joint US-Mexico dragnet that recently caught Chapo, who'd been at large for 13 years after famously escaping from Mexican prison in a laundry basket.

Zambada-Ortiz's capture and the data scraped from his phone led to more and more Sinaloa phones until a month ago, when Mexican authorities (moving on American intelligence work) successfully carried out a number of raids that scored a cache of weapons and the arrests of a few of Chapo's senior henchmen. With each apprehension came another phone full of leads, "a new trove of information for officials to mine," as TIME reported. Then, sometime last week, Mexican commandos "traced a number stored in a seized cell phone to a stash house outside the provincial capital of Culiacan, where they believed Guzman was hiding," TIME added."

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