FBI's Incredible Reveal: It Flipped El Chapo's IT Guy

It all started in a Manhattan hotel in 2010
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2019 11:47 AM CST

(Newser) – In trying to make its case against Joaquin Guzman Loera, better known as El Chapo, US prosecutors have over the last two months offered up the kind of evidence you'd expect, like witness testimony, records of drug deals, and surveillance photos. On Tuesday came a dramatic reveal: that they also had evidence obtained though what the New York Times calls "high-tech cloak-and-dagger methods." The FBI had flipped the Mexican drug lord's IT guy and managed to access 800 phone calls, as many as 200 of which featured Guzman speaking freely about executions, corrupt cops, and drug shipments. How they did it, and what they learned:

  • The start of the operation dates to February 2010, when an undercover FBI agent posing as a Russian mobster met with Cristian Rodriguez at a Manhattan hotel. He asked if Rodriguez, a Colombia-based computer tech, could build him an encrypted voice-over-Internet-protocol system to make phone calls like the one he made for Guzman. That conversation was recorded, and they used it to get Rodriguez to flip, reports CNN.

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