Drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán was captured by authorities on Friday (Jan. 8), six months after his harrowing escape from a maximum-security Mexican prison. On Saturday (Jan. 9), Rolling Stone published an article written by The Gunman actor Sean Penn -- who had apparently had a top-secret meeting with El Chapo in the remote jungles of Mexico back in October, but never told authorities.
According to a report from The Guardian, El Chapo might have gotten away with his second escape from prison -- which he achieved by digging a one-mile tunnel out of his jail cell (with help from cronies) complete with a motorcycle inside to carry him to freedom -- if it hadn't been for the allure of Hollywood: El Chapo originally began reaching out to producers and actors like Penn because he wanted to speak with them about making a biopic about his life.
Now, just weeks after proudly telling Sean Penn, "I supply more heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana than anybody else in the world," El Chapo is back in Altiplano, the same Mexican maximum-security prison he escaped back in July. His lawyers are appealing his extradition to the U.S. on drug trafficking charges. Experts have suggested that the drug cartel El Chapo led will likely continue to thrive despite his absence.
Mexican authorities are saying that despite the elaborate precautions Penn reports were taken to keep the meeting a secret -- like the use of burner phones, email encryption and intermediaries -- Penn's repeated contact wth El Chapo helped them catch the fugitive. And according to a report from NBC News, those same Mexican authorities would like to talk to Penn about why he didn't share information about El Chapo with them when he knew he was a most-wanted criminal.