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Got Shorty: Inside Case for El Chapo. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired August 7, 2016 - 20:00   ET



ANNOUNCER: The following is a Cnn special report.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: He escaped maximum security prison. Twice.

DEREK MALTZ, FMR. DEA SPECIAL OPERATIONS: The vision of Chapo inside his cell and then disappearing like Harry Houdini will never be forgotten.

He used cash and cleverness to outwit law enforcement again and again.

Looks like a bathtub, right? Check this out. A signature "el chapo" tunnel.

A drug lord who loved the limelight. He was sending flirtation text messages to soap opera actresses. And ruled the streets.

JIM DINKINS, FMR HOMELAND SECURITY: They put more dope on the streets than any other cartel by far.

CUOMO: Tonight, got shorty. Inside the chase for "El Chapo."

UKNOWN VOICE: (IN SPANISH) Hands Up. Security.

CUOMO: Before dawn. In the northern Mexican city of Los Movies. 15 Elite Mexican marines bust into what seems like a normal

middle class home, looking for one of the world's most wanted criminals.

The drug lord they called "El Chapo" or shorty. A man with an uncanny ability to evade capture. And a loyal army of heavily-armed thugs.

It's bullets flying everywhere. So the team has to split in half. Half goes down this way where there's

a bedroom. The other half has this difficult task of trying to make it up these stairs.


This bathroom they came to and just bashed it open. They find a woman in here. There's another woman back there. But "El Chapo" is not anywhere on this floor.Downstairs, the other team moves through the hallway.

You're now in the bedroom that the men were most fiercely defending. They did not want the teams to get in here.

When the marines do get in, they find two men armed with semi-automatics. Suddenly, the men change their tune and no longer

want to fight. They want to surrender.

In the closet they find two more men who also surrender. The marines don't know it yet, but those men are buying time for the king-pin to escape.

Searching, marines find machine guns, rocket propelled grenade launchers, and grenades. There are five dead guards and

six others to arrest. But no "el chapo." Where is he?

Here's your answer. It looks like an ordinary closet, but it isn't. You see this up here? It says 'hood' on it, like from an old car. When you pull it, this door pops open to reveal a signature "el Chapo" move.

A tunnel connected to the city's sewer system and to freedom.

MALTZ: Once again, Chapo, aka Harry Houdini, escapes. There's a trick mirror in the closet.

CUOMO: Like Harry Houdini, escape artist "el Chapo" Guzman has a life that dreams Hollywood action film.

CNN REPORTER: The notorious Mexican drug lord, once again escaped from prison.

UNKOWN SPEAKER: Unimaginably Powerful. Unimaginably rich.

CNN REPORTER: An all-out manhunt in Mexico, now ongoing for what King "el Chapo" Guzman.

CUOMO: The world is fascinated with the drug kingpin. Even actor sean penn. He scored a major coup a few months back, meeting and interviewing one of the most wanted men in the world. His article about the visit is printed in Rolling Stone Magazine. It's "el chapo's" first ever and it's a jaw-dropper.

In it, penn writes "el Chapo" Guzman admitted to what the U.S. and Mexico have long accused him of, but have yet to prove.

"I supply more heroin and meth Amphetamine, cocaine and marijuana than anybody else in world."

And, on the magazines website there's a link to this videotape of "el Chapo" answering follow-up questions sent by Penn. On it the drug lord explains, for the first time, why he got into the drug business.

INTERPRETER: Where I'm from, there are no job opportunities. The way to be able to buy food to survive is grow poppy and marijuana." CUOMO: New insight into the man who authorities say built the largest illegal drug organization in the world.

What kind of drugs are we Talking about?

DINKINS: Cocaine. Methamphetamine. Heroin. And marijuana.

CUOMO: And by percentage, what do you think "el chapo" was, responsible for on our streets?

DINKINS: Probably over 50%.

CUOMO: Over 50%?

DINKINS: mm-hmm.

CUOMO: Jim dinkins recently retired from homeland security Investigations and spent the bulk of his career trying to stop chapo's


When you hear the nickname, what comes to mind? DINKINS: Really, evil genius. He rose up out of the streets to Become one of the most powerful people in the world, really, yet without any education.

CUOMO: His sinaloa cartel is making billions in just the u.s. alone. Enough for his members to buy Mercedes after Mercedes. "El chapo" is accused of buying people too.

DINKINS: He doesn't always just resort to violence. He will also try to persuade you by making you rich.

CUOMO: And if that doesn't work, he is ruthless. Did he do things that you hadn't seen before?

DINKINS: I think that he started a chain of events that was basically a drug war from cartel to cartel that left thousands of people dead.

CUOMO: Thousands.

Ahead --

ANABEL HERNANDEZ, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: This prison became a resort For "el chapo's" men.

CUOMO: Later -

DINKINS: I get this call from our special agent in charge saying I think we could get enough to possibly arrest "el chapo."


CUOMO: Drive five hours north of Sinaloa's capital, Coyoacan on unpaved, unmarked roads, you'll find yourself in the Sierra Madre mountains, in the middle of nowhere. At the entrance to a small village, called La Tuna. Home to "el Chapo" guzman.

INTERPRETER: (JOSE LUIS GUZMAN, RESIDENT OF LA TUNA) this is where he lived. We respect him.

CUOMO: The village is inside Mexico's golden triangle, the heart of the country's drug trade.

HERNANDEZ: For the case, all the families in this area used to work in the fields to cultivate marijuana and poppies to produce the heroin. His father used to do it. His grandfather used too


CUOMO: And at just 7, investigative journalist Anabel Hernandez says "el chapo" Guzman leaves school to do it too. This man knew the boy everyone called joaquin.

INTERPRETER FOR GUZMAN: we went to school together.But when he was 8,he went to Coulyacon, we didn't seeeach other anymore. He was already involved in -- well, in those dealings, as they say.

CUOMO: It's difficult not to be involved in "those dealings" here. There's no viable industry.schooling is limited. The junior high is taught by television. And as "el chapo" tells Sean Penn, there's lots of poverty.

INTERPRETER FOR "el CHAPO": I remember how my mom made bread to support the family.I would sell it. I sold oranges. I sold soft drinks. I sold candy.

CUOMO: In his teens, he has a fight with his father over money and decides to start his own business.

HERNANDEZ: His father used to spend all this money on prostitutes and to drink and these kinds of things. So when he was 15, he decided to be independent and started to have his own fields of marijuana.

CUOMO: This man, we'll call. I Javier, doesn't want his identity known. He says he worked as a bodyguard

for "el chapo" in the '80s and '90s. What are the people in the business, tell themselves about what happens to the victims who use the drugs, who get addicted, who die?

INTERPRETER FOR JAVIER: It's none of our business, who consumes those things and who doesn't. What each person consumes is that person's individual responsibility.

CUOMO: The taboo that you don't do drugs doesn't exist in the same way where "el Chapo" comes from.

DINKINS: What are you going to turn to? Are you going to become a local merchant? What are you going to sell?

CUOMO: By 1993, "el chapo" Guzman is in his mid 30s and working his way up the Guadalhara cartel. It later splinters into three groups. One is the Sinaloa cartel. How did he distinguish himself early on?

DINKINS: Mostly through violence. He was a killer. CUOMO: A hit man. In Mexico they're called sicario's. The world first hears the name "el chapo" Guzman that year when a beloved cardinal is killed.

HERNANDEZ: May 1993, the cardinal, Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo, was murdered. He was gone to the airport to pick up one very important official from the Vatican.

CUOMO: The official story is "el Chapo"'s enemies send a group of assassins to kill him. They mistake the cardinal's car for "el chapo's". There is another version. This man, attorney Jose

Antonio Ortega, claims there's evidence the hit is arranged by a Government official because the Cardinal is about to rat out politicians involved in the drug business.

INTERPRETER: What happened was a state crime, which was perfectly planned and designed to eliminate the cardinal Posadas


CUOMO: "el chapo" guzman is arrested, convicted, and sent to prison for participating in the shootout as well as for other drug-related crimes. But he denies any connection to drugs.

INTERPRETER: sir, i'm a farmer.

CUOMO: In prison, officials do a psychiatric assessment of "el Chapo." Anabel hernandez gets ahold of it.

HERNANDEZ: What they discovered was "el Chapo" Guzman was very eccentric,he used to manipulate people, use people.

CUOMO: Hernandez says when he gets to Puente Grande maximum security prison, "el chapo" is manipulating people with money. Doling out bribes.

INTERPRETER: There's talks of tens of thousands of dollars monthly which he forked over to many inmates to have them on his

side and also to the guards.

HERNANDEZ: This prison became a resort for "el chapo" Guzman. He was able to have food from the best restaurants in Guadalajara. He was able also to have liquor.

CUOMO: And "el chapo," who is considered a notorious ladies man, is able to get women. Lots of women.

HERNANDEZ: He had to consume Viagra to be able to have sex all day. He has the visit of his wife, hehas the visit of prostitutes, And he also was able to have sex with a woman that works in jail. And also he was having sex with other women that were prisoners inside that jail.

CUOMO: Attorney Jose Antonio Ortega says when he attends a deposition at the prison, "el chapo" is acting as if he's in Charge.

INTERPRETER: He welcomed us and offered us coffee,refreshments, potato chips and several snacks.

CUOMO: Ortega says "el chapo" delays the meeting start time by more than 12 hours to 10:30 at night.

INTERPRETER: He said the meeting was scheduled for that time because he had a conjugal visit that day. And after the conjugal visit, he had to take a little nap and a

little snack and get some rest in order to welcome me like I deserved.

CUOMO: By the end of the year 2000, after nearly eight years behind bars, "el chapo" has had enough.

HERNANDEZ: He starts to tell to everyone, I'm leaving.

CUOMO: Problem is, he has 12 years left.


CUOMO: It is December of 2000, and "el chapo" Guzman has been living the high life behind bars, essentially running the joint. With access to plenty of women and all the best foods. Even though he still has 12 more years to serve, he decides he's been behind bars long enough.

On January 19th, 2001, he escapes. The official story, a prison handyman rolls "el chapo" out in a laundry cart. Then there's this


HERNANDEZ: Two very high level officials of the government, they open the door and said, sir, you can leave now.

CUOMO: Mexico's then-president denies it. Once again, there are two stories explaining one event involving "el chapo" Guzman.

INTERPRETER: If he escaped using corruption, then it could also have been a corrupt investigation. We do live in a country where you can alter government records from top to bottom, right? That is the truth.

CUOMO: Once outside, "el chapo" heads for the hills. La Tuna. He's safe there, surrounded by loyal employees. Were you willing to give your life for "el chapo"?

INTERPRETER: Of course I would have. Because that was my job, to defend him.

CUOMO: Javier claims he was "el Chapo's" bodyguard until 1993, then went back to work for him after his escape.

INTERPRETER: We had to move every two or three days. For security reasons we always moved around.

CUOMO: The cartel boss is moving around and moving up. Increasing his power in the drug war.

HERNANDEZ: He has an ambition of the business that no one else had before. The idea was, okay, why don't we create the first federation of cartels in Mexico? If we have this power together, we will be able to produce more drugs, but also we will be in a powerful position to destroy other cartels.

CUOMO: It works. "el chapo's" Sinaloa cartel or Federation is growing. Until 2008. That's when "el chapo" feuds

with his partners, the Beltran Leva brothers. They split from the cartel and stop sharing their trafficking routes. "el chapo" no longer has access Mexico's Sonora state on the U.S. border. And that is a game changer.

ALEJANDRO HOPE, FMR MEXICAN INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: That was the natural route for the trade. Once that route was closed off by the breakup, now Chapo had tofind another route. And that's what led them to take on simultaneously the Tijuana (inaudible) Cartels.

CUOMO: "el chapo" wages war for access on two different fronts. In Tijuana, which borders the greater San Diego area in California, and in Ciudad Juarez, across the Rio Grande from El Paso,


Bodies wrapped in white canvas overflow the morgue. And the city becomes a horror show. This man says he's now found God. But when Sinaloa is fighting for control of Juarez, he is a sicario, a hitman.

INTERPRETER: We were very cruel with those people. We cut people up in pieces. We yanked off heads, hands, feet.

CUOMO: To send a message, intimidate the enemy. Soon the violence spirals out of control. No one is safe.

HOPE: What you have is a breakdown of public trust. Then everything is fair game. You have men, guns, you

already have safe houses, you already have the complicity of the authorities, Then the marginal cost of say, doing a kidnapping becomes zero. The marginal of extorting a legitimate business becomes zero.

CUOMO: In 2009, Eduardo and CHITA say their newly married 24 year old son Abraham is murdered simply because he honks his horn.

INTERPRETER FOR EDUARDO GARCIA: He got out, pistol in hand, and shot him eight times.

INTERPRETER FOR CHITA GARCIA: They ripped out part of my heart. Not once but twice.

INTERPRETER FOR EDUARDO GARCIA: On march 8th, 2011, I got a call on my cellphone. Griselda has been kidnapped.

INTERPRETER FOR CHITA GARCIA: They said if we didn't have all the money they asked us for, they would send our daughter back to us in a box with a bullet in her head.

CUOMO: They paid the ransom and got her back.

INTERPRETER FOR EDUARDO GARCIA: What amount of money is too much to save your daughter's life? CUOMO: Before "EL CHAPO'S" cartel made its move for Juarez, there were about 300 murders a year. Three years later, the number of homicides has increased tenfold. Making Juarez one of the deadliest cities in the world.

Ahead, a breakthrough in the Hunt for "el chapo," from an unexpected source.

MALTZ: The investigation was started by an agent who was very, very early in his career.


[20:31:18] CUOMO: In Sinaloa, home state of El Chapo Guzman, everywhere you look, there are signs of his cartel. These buildings aren't mansions. They're tombs, monuments to wealth and death. These smaller memorials mark spots where bodies are found. And they are everywhere inside the Sinaloan capital.

JAVIER VALDEZ, LOCAL JOURNALIST: (Through Translator) Hit men come and kill people here or dispose off the bodies without a problem. I think every month at least five dead bodies are thrown in here.

CUOMO: Javier Valdez is a local journalist who covers the drug trade.

VALDEZ: (Through Translator) The government knows that's what people do. But they don't investigate them, prosecute them or arrest them.

CUOMO: By 2013, the U.S. is if fed up with the impact of El Chapo's cartel on this side of the border.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two young people are found dead of an overdose.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police have reported 47 overdoses.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If it continues, it could set a horrifying record.

CUOMO: The death toll from drug overdoses is steadily rising. Heroin use is increasing. And more of it is coming into the U.S. than ever before.

DEREK MALTZ, FORMER SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE IN DEA SPECIAL OPERATIONS: I'm not talking about one kilo, two kilos. I'm talking about thousands of kilos.

CUOMO: There are now eight U.S. indictments charging El Chapo with everything from distributing cocaine and heroin to murder. As for the Sinaloa cartel's oldest product, marijuana, tons of it are coming into the U.S. in an unusual way.

You call him the tunnel king?

JIM DINKINS, FORMER HEAD HOMELAND SECURITY INVESTIGATIONS: He is the tunnel king. CUOMO: Because his tunnels are more elaborate than most others. Equipped with elevators, rails, ventilation, they're especially designed to move large quantities of drugs quickly.

DINKINS: He hired the best and the brightest engineers. They would build some very sophisticated tunnels that were over a mile long in many cases.

CUOMO: By now, El Chapo Guzman is the head of Mexico's largest and wealthiest cartel. Successfully evading authorities for more than a dozen years. But then a breakthrough from an unexpected source.

MATTHEW C. ALLEN, ARIZONA SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE FOR HOMELAND SECURITY INVESTIGATIONS: The investigation was started by an agent who was very, very early in his career.

CUOMO: The rookie works for Matt Allen, special agent in charge for homeland security investigations in Arizona.

ALLEN: When you have the new people, they don't necessarily come on board with any sense of inhibitions or sense of limits. And so when they're given a case, they run it to ground.

CUOMO: Allen's agents are monitoring communications between people who work for "El Chapo," and piecing the puzzle together.

DINKINS: So their cartel is driven from the top down. They ask for permission and they get clearance before they do anything. And that communication seeking permission ultimately is how we led from person to person to person to identify his inner circle.

CUOMO: They're able to figure out who El Chapo's top advisers are by focusing in on those who get important or high level requests.

And how many people would be on that level? Dozens?

DINKINS: Ultimately, not -- no. No, that's part of his success. So ultimately it went to an inner circle of just a few, maybe five. And those five people gave the command and control for the Sinaloa cartel.

CUOMO: U.S. agents are following conversations of the five people who El Chapo Guzman trusts most in the world.

[20:35:09] The goal, figure out the drug lord's routine. Get one step ahead of him. And set a trap. To do that, they need to find partners across the border and execute a plan.

Now what?

DINKINS: Now the big decision is who do you trust in Mexico to give that information to.

CUOMO: Historically a weak spot.

DINKINS: Yes. CUOMO: The corruption and the ability of the Sinaloa cartel and Chapo specifically to worm his way into an information network from the government is notorious. That's true?

DINKINS: Absolutely.

CUOMO: U.S. agents partnered with the Mexican marines or C-MAR, considered the least corrupt law enforcement agency there.

MALTZ: One of the things that stood out in my brain is that, with C- MAR, they weren't going into locations and notifying, let's say, the local police, where is some other entities in Mexico, they would notify local police. And the local police, maybe there is corrupt officials that would tip off Chapo.

CUOMO: C-MAR's destination, the Sinaloan capital, Culiacan. The plan, the Americans are going to follow the communications of Chapo's inner circle in realtime and relay information to the Mexican marines on the ground. Around midnight, on February 17th, 2014, El Chapo Guzman wants a snack and sends a guard out to get it. Mexican marines get lucky.

MALTZ: He was grabbed. He was arrested. And he cooperated.

CUOMO: This is the house where the guard says El Chapo is hiding.

But when they got to the front door, they got unlucky. Not only is this a steel door but it's several inches thick of reinforced steel. So they had to try to bash it in using and they were using a battering ram.

Now, ordinarily what happens is, as you batter the door, the metal heats up and softens and yu can gain entry. Not this door. Each one of these compartments is filled with water. This door did not heat up and it took them almost 10 minutes to get inside.

That's all the time the king of tunnels needs. It looks like a bathtub, right? Check this out, a signature El Chapo tunnel. And down he goes.

It is steep and humid and nasty down here. But this is exactly where El Chapo wanted to be. Look at this. It's like a bank vault door right here. Why so strong? Because on the other side is a storm sewer. So El Chapo opened up this wheel, jumped into the storm sewer system and was gone.

What's your reaction when they say, we're through the door, we're in the house, he's gone?

DINKINS: I was little discouraged because we're moving now into the unknown. They can't train for -- the Mexican marines is going to pack up going home. I said, no, bad information. We just miss some. Let us know when you can get a next time.

CUOMO: Fortunately, that's not what happens. DINKINS: We had this information coming live into United States. And he had to poke his head out of that hole someplace and make a phone call for help. So we were waiting on our side, the United States. But also, C-MAR was relentless.

CUOMO: Ahead, the marines believe they have Chapo in their sights.

MALTZ: And they stumble upon these two Americans who was smoking marijuana.


[20:02:40] CUOMO: It is February 22nd, 2014. Five days earlier, the most wanted fugitive in the world, El Chapo Guzman, jumped into a sewer and ran for freedom. He finds it two hours South in Mazatlan, a beach town full of tourists. But the Mexican marines are right behind him, guided by information from U.S. agents tracking El Chapo's inner circle.

MALTZ: We identified communication signals and we were able to zero in on the Miramar hotel in this resort area.

CUOMO: The technology U.S. agents are using can pinpoint the building where he's hiding but not the exact apartment. The marines narrow it down to two possibilities. One option is on the sixth floor of the Miramar. So before dawn, they scale the building and burst through the balcony, ready for battle.

MALTZ: And they stumble upon these two Americans who are smoking marijuana.

CUOMO: Another group of marines races down a hallway toward Apartment 401. When they see an armed man, they realize they're onto something big.

MALTZ: He was standing guard at the door. And then they knew that Chapo was inside.

CUOMO: They smash through the door. Flimsy wood this time, not reinforced metal. And there is the most notorious drug trafficker on the planet. The man who has eluded them for 13 years, El Chapo Guzman. Unbelievably, he doesn't put up a fight.

When you hear no gunshots fired, we have him, what is that moment?

DINKINS: It was shocking to me, even though that I anticipated, I was very hopeful that we would get him. There was a great chance during these operations that ultimately when they got that close, there would going to be a shootout.

CUOMO: You were thinking it was the end of "scar face"?

DINKINS: Absolutely.

CUOMO: He's flown to Altiplano, a maximum security prison 90 minutes outside Mexico City. For U.S. agents involved with the capture, it is a thrilling result.

Is there anything you've done in your time that matches bringing down a guy like this?

DINKINS: Not at that level. This was like something the feather in the cap that, you know, you just can't compare it.

[20:45:03] MALTZ: I retired in July of 2014. I was very excited because, like Peyton Manning and just win the super bowl. He lives on the top. I felt that being part of the investigative team capturing Chapo Guzman, it doesn't get any better than that.

CUOMO: At the U.S. Justice Department, officials want to extradite El Chapo for trial on U.S. soil. But that's not happening. Mexico's then attorney general says, the United States can have El Chapo but only when he's finished serving time in Mexico, in about 300 or 400 years. He will die in a Mexican prison unless he can escape again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Through Translator) Can you assure this won't happen again?

PRES. ENRIQUE PENA NIETO, MEXICO: It would be more than regrettable. Unforgivable.

CUOMO: Less than 17 months after Mexico's President says an escape would be unforgivable, it happens.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's done it again. One of the world's most dangerous and powerful kingpins.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The most infamous drug lord in the world is on the loose right now.

CUOMO: On July 11th, 2015 at 8:51 p.m. El Chapo Guzman is seen in his cell on surveillance video. A minute later he vanishes through a hole in the floor of his shower stall, which is one of two blind spots in his cell. His method of escape, a tunnel, of course. The type he would become famous for building. This one is six stories deep. It's got electricity and ventilation, even a motorcycle and rail system. It ends inside a house under construction where Chapo's men are waiting to whisk him to an airfield.

Just to give you a sense of how elaborate El Chapo's escape was, here is the prison, okay? And all of way over here is this little house about a mile away. That's how far the tunnel had to span for El Chapo.

Now, the people who work and live in this farmland say they did notice suspicious men working for months here. But this is the kind of place where you mind your own business. It seems people outside the prison weren't the only ones with their backs turned.

ALEJANDRO HOPE, FORMER MEXICAN INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: The system is vulnerable to corruption and intimidation. Which are going to be successful? I mean, yes, the tunnel is very impressive. But the tunnel could not have been built if he had not had complicity from within the prison and from within the prison system.

CUOMO: This surveillance video leaked to Televisa T.V. appears to show El Chapo with a television in his cell, raising the volume on it to cover loud drilling noises. The video then shows a split screen of five guards sitting in front of monitors, not reacting.

HOPE: The problem was not blind spots. The problem was you had blind people, deliberately blind people at crucial spots.

CUOMO: Eleven ex-public officials, including the former prison director are arrested in connection with the escape. Mexico's president vows a more modern, transparent Mexico, setting up an office to investigate corruption and promoting legislation with tougher penalties. Only time will tell that these measure make a difference.

Ahead, El Chapo Guzman wants to remain free. But he also wants to be a star. Something's got to give.

DINKINS: Communicating with people to try to get a movie made about him. His ego got bigger than life.


[20:52:48] CUOMO: In Mexico, the drug lord El Chapo Guzman has morphed into a bit of a folk hero. There's a whole genre of music called "narco coridos" that glorify his life. And it's not just music. T-shirts and hats boast El Chapo's prowess. 701 is his ranking the first time he makes Forbes' list of the world's richest.

VALDEZ: (Through Translator) People more easily identify themselves with a criminal who mocks, defies and evades the government than the government itself. People don't trust the government.

CUOMO: In 2012, a popular Mexican actress expresses that sentiment in a tweet. Today I believe more in El Chapo Guzman, Kate Del Castillo types, than in the governments that hide the truth from me.

This is Del Castillo in a Mexican soap opera "Queen of the South". Her character is beautiful, powerful, ruthless and a drug lord which may explain why the actress' tweet catches the eye of El Chapo himself and sets in motion an unbelievable series of events ending with Del Castillo holding the rights to make a movie of El Chapo's life.

By fall of 2015, while El Chapo is on the run, they're exchanging text messages, planning to meet. I will take care of everything so you're comfortable. I will take care of you more than I do my own eyes, El Chapo types to Del Castillo. You are so beautiful, my friend, in every way. Her responses seem similar in tone. Apart from our project, I'm still looking forward to look into your eyes in person, Del Castillo texts. For some reason, I feel safe in that you know who I am, not as an actress or public figure, but as a woman.

[20:55:01] HOPE: It was surprising to me that Chapo would have been so un-cautious. The guy was the object of the biggest manhunt this entire time. He was sending flirtatious text messages to a soap opera actress. CUOMO: Del Castillo insists the texts are professional.

KATE DEL CASTILLO, "QUEEN OF THE SOUTH" ACTRESS: (Through Translator) It never had to do with a matter of seduction. All those texts are completely taken out of context. I want to let him know that we have to be taken care of. In other words, I don't want to get killed for going to see him.

CUOMO: In the fall of 2015, while Americans and Mexicans are tirelessly searching for El Chapo, Del Castillo, along with actor Sean Penn and two movie producers are taken to a secret location for a meeting over tacos and tequila.

MALTZ: I was pissed off. That meeting should have been with C-MAR and he should have been in handcuffs on that day.

CUOMO: By early 2016, the Mexican marines follow El Chapo's trail to a Sinaloan town and zero in on this house. It's the attack on El Chapo's compound in Los Moches. But El Chapo slips into the escape hatch behind the mirror and runs about half a mile through the sewer, popping up from a manhole in the middle of a street.

The billionaire and his guard carjacked the first ride they can find. This blurry video shows it happening. They flee, realize they've been spotted, ditch it, steal another, head out of town and don't make it.

One of the most wanted, wealthiest men in the world is found wet and filthy in a red Ford Focus by officers looking for the stolen vehicle, not him. But they don't take him to jail.

MALTZ: Federal police officers grab him for a carjacking and bring him to a motel instead of the jail.

CUOMO: The official version, officers bring El Chapo to a safe place until the marines can arrive. As usual, there's another story as well.

HOPE: My guess that he certainly tried to bribe them, but there's a problem they didn't have any money left.

CUOMO: Before any bundles of cash can appear, the Mexican marines arrive.

MALTZ: They get to the hotel and Chapo was arrested. He's in custody.

CUOMO: It's finished. The most hunted drug lord in history is captured for a third time.

Next stop could be a U.S. prison. Mexican authorities have done a 180 and now support extradition. Something fiercely opposed by El Chapo's legal team. They want him to get off scot-free.

JOSE REFUGIO, EL CHAPO GUZMAN'S ATTORNEY: (Through Translator) You can say that I'm a dreamer, that I'm naive. It's not a lost cause. If it were a lost cause, I wouldn't be defending him. CUOMO: Defending him against allegations of drug trafficking and murder and what he says is a corrupt process.

REFUGIO: His legal processes in Mexico have been fraught with illegal evidence.

CUOMO: And he says the U.S. indictments are also flawed. Asked about El Chapo's vocation, Jose Refugio refers back to his 1993 statement.

EL CHAPO GUZMAN, DRUGLORD: (Through Translator) Sir, I'm a farmer.

CUOMO: A farmer who Refugio now says denies ever saying he's the world's biggest drug trafficker. As Refugio fights, El Chapo is moved to a prison near the U.S. border.

HOPE: My guess, the most likely scenario, he'll become an informant for the DEA.

CUOMO: What's the chance that he turns and that he helps you take down this billion-dollar enterprise?

DINKINS: He won't do that until he's here in the United States because that has to be no other alternative for him.

CUOMO: What's going to be the balancing there? On one level, you'd never want to cut a guy like this a deal, but at the same time, isn't the goal to stop the enterprise?

DINKINS: Yeah, that's going to be a tough balance to cut any type of deal. It may be as be, instead of three life sentences only one.

CUOMO: A deal is one option for El Chapo. But there are others.

HOPE: There's a risk. Either the Mexican government sends him to the U.S. within a couple years, or he'll re-create the conditions that allowed him to escape and may try again at some point.

MALTZ: Of course he can escape again because it's Chapo. Harry Houdini. Nothing would surprise me with this guy.