Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was one of the most influential drug lords in Mexico, with his cartel smuggling tons of drugs into the United States each month. Now incarcerated in the Metropolitan Correctional Center, in his prime, he supplied about 80 percent of cocaine available in Chicago, according to ABC7 Chicago. In the interview with Sean Penn just after his second escape from a maximum security prison in Mexico, Guzman revealed that he was the biggest narcotics supplier in the world and owned a fleet of vehicles, submarines, and planes to run his drug trafficking empire.
Presently, the U.S. government is seeking a $14 billion forfeiture from him. The sum is an estimate of his proceeds as the head of one of the biggest criminal enterprises in Mexico. Of course, not one cent of this has been recovered, with most of the money reportedly going into putting up the necessary infrastructure to maintain his cartel’s position as a dominant organization in the region.
While the sum may seem huge, it really was a reality for the drug lord. This is according to the tell-all, Cartel Wives: A True Story of Deadly Decisions, Steadfast Love, and Bringing Down El Chapo, by the wives of the twins that helped take down the kingpin. According to their revelations, El Chapo and El Mayo, his partner within the Sinaloa Cartel, would send them at least 500 kilos of cocaine every five days for distribution in America. At one point, the brothers were able to sell two tons of the drug within ten days, an extraordinary feat which helped them earn even more trust within the cartel.
However, a lot of the money that they made apparently came in ones, fives, and tens, which translated to bulkier wads, as is characteristic of retail “street money” dealing. This caused a major headache for the cartel men in charge of accounting, and at times, it led to disagreements. In one instance, the twins were chided for bringing in 1.6 million dollars in fives and ones, with the sum almost ‘filling up a container’ according to complaints by the man put in charge by El Chapo.
The boss, however, decided in their favor after they explained their haste in bringing in the money. On how it was hidden, the cartel apparently had houses with millions of dollars stacked within hydraulic walls. The money was counted by teams of workers who worked eight-hour shifts, 24 hours a day. This is as reported by Business Insider. The brothers that sold out Guzman apparently smuggled about $2 billion into Mexico between 2005 and 2008.