Four months after his carefully planned and now infamous escape from prison, Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán is thought to be somewhere in the Sierra Madre mountain range. Or, at least, he was.
An anonymous source in American law enforcement confirmed to CBS News Wednesday that authorities pounced last week on a ranch in the mountains where they thought Guzmán was staying. They did not find him, but they did discover evidence indicating the cartel boss had stopped by, including clothing and cell phones, NBC News reported.
El Chapo, considered one of the most powerful drug traffickers in the world, has been on the run since breaking out of the Altiplano prison in July. He was serving a 20-year sentence and was thought to have received inside help to forge a tunnel out of his jail cell. It was the drug lord's second high-profile escape: He got out of prison in 2001 by stowing away in a laundry cart and was only located last year.
The governor of Sinaloa, the state where El Chapo's cartel is based, told reporters that a large-scale military hunt for the convict was underway Wednesday. Soldiers had entered 13 communities and displaced more than 260 residents in Sinaloa and nearby Durango, according to Publimetro.
A source identified only as Julio "El Tio" Martinez told teleSUR that El Chapo's choice in hideouts made sense. “Why would he go anywhere else if he enjoys the protection of federal and state security forces, as well of that of the governor?” Martinez said. “He controls the whole region, and the communities protect him as well.”
Also Wednesday, audio from the security camera in Guzmán's former cell leaked online. The footage itself was released earlier this year, but the sound was off, ABC News reported. Loud banging -- allegedly construction on the tunnel he'd later use to escape -- can be heard, fueling speculation that the prison guards purposefully allowed El Chapo to sneak out.