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A jaw-dropping twist this morning to the story of the Colombian IT guy who helped the FBI crack El Chapo's encrypted comms network.
He also helped the feds tap the kingpin's texts w/his wiife, Emma Coronel, taking us deep into the intimacies (and crimes) of their marriage.
The texts are mind-boggling.
One moment, the couple is cooing over how cute their twin daughters are and talking about Emma's enchiladas, the next their talking about whether Chapo's soldiers were slaughtered in a gunfight.
We see texts from the aftermath of Chapo's escape from a police raid in Los Cabos in 2012. He describes how he saw the cops pounding the door of a nearby house and was able to jump out the window just in time.
"Oh love, that's horrible," Emma write.
Having left everything behind in the panicked escape, Chapo then asks Emma to send him what he needs: sweats, underwear, some shirts & shoes, shampoo, after shave--and, yes, black mustache dye.
The only thing more astonishing than these marital messages is how the government got them.
Turns out, Chapo was using Flexi-spy spyware to monitor Emma's phone. The IT guy installed it. He told the FBI. The FBI subpoenaed Flexi-Spy.
Chapo's texts w/his wife.
But there's more.
Chapo wasn't only spying on Emma's phone. He had two side chicks (who look exactly like her by the way) and he was spying on their phones too.
So guess what the FBI got their hands on?
That's where we're headed after this quick break, it seems.
To recap:
The FBI, in league with Chapo's IT guy, used his own lust and sexual paranoia against him in order to collect the most private communications one could imagine.
Oh forgot to mention:
Emma, the wife, was so knee deep in Chapo's business that she would often hand her phone to her father who was one of Chapo's lieutenants.
Chapo and the father used Emma's phones to plan major-league drug deals.
Un. Be. Lievable.
So now Chapo's texts w/one of the mistresses, Agustina Cabanillas Acosta, have come out. They contain the same sort of narco-pillow talk as the texts w/Emma.
"How are the sales going?" Chapo texts her one day.
"Oh, like busy bees," Agustina writes back. "Non-stop, my love."
Agustina is clearly shrewd. She knows Chapo's spying on her & complains about it to her friends. She tells one friend she "doesn't trust" the BlackBerries he's given her "because the bastard can locate them." She refers to him as an idiot.
"I'm way smarter than him," she writes.
But she like Emma is hip-deep in his business. She's his intermediary on deals in Belize, Ecuador & across Mexico, texting details about couriers & coke tonnage to other traffickers then circling back to check w/Chapo.
She's tough.
"Dont think about it, do it," she texts one guy.
It bears repeating:
Chapo ran what seems to be a substantial amount of his international drug business through the women he was involved with.
We know this because he was spying on them and the FBI was able to leverage his paranoia into devastating evidence.
As if this day could not produce more astonishing stuff, Christian Rodriguez, the IT guy who put the spyware on the phones Chapo gave his wife & mistress also testified. He said Chapo had him rig a total of 50 phones. Chapo was apparently obsessed with snooping.
Almost every day, Rodriguez said, Chapo would call him with questions about the spyware, which was linked to a computer where the kingpin could view reports on the text messages and G.P.S. locations generated by what he liked to call his “special phones.”
Eventually, the reports became so voluminous that Chapo assigned one of his other techies to read them and give him daily summaries.
At one point, he asked Rodriguez to install a new feature on the phones, allowing him to remotely — and secretly — activate their microphones.
Chapo would play a little game.
He would call people who had the “special” phones and chat with them a while then hang up, secretly activate the mic and listen to what they said about him.
Rodriguez said Chapo once asked him how long it would take to make a computer “special” too. This took place while Rodriguez was at one of Chapo's hide-outs in the mountains. A woman was also there with them.
When the techie told kingpin it would only take three minutes to install the spyware on the woman's computer, Chapo ordered him to do it.
“El Chapo distracted the woman and I installed the spy software,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez is going to be on the stand tomorrow too.
We'll likely hear more not only about Chapo's snooping nature, but also the story of how Rodriguez was recruited by the feds to turn on his employer. And then had a mental breakdown when the cartel went after him.
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