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El Chapo wanted tech expert who helped FBI killed, informant testifies

Guzman “said we should look for him to kill him,” informant Alex Cifuentes testified.

Joaquin

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera is on trial in a federal drug trafficking case. Photo Credit: Charles Reed / U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via Getty Images

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera ordered the killing of a Colombian technology consultant who betrayed the alleged cocaine lord by giving United States law enforcement access to his encrypted phone system and spyware, an informant testified in Brooklyn federal court Monday.

Communications expert Christian Rodriguez, testified last week about how he flipped, letting the FBI seize and play for jurors Guzman’s calls with aides and texts with his wife and female friends captured on spying software he secretly installed on their phones before fleeing to safety.

Guzman “said we should look for him to kill him,” testified informant Alex Cifuentes, a Colombian drug supplier for the alleged drug kingpin whose brother had been turned in by Rodriguez. “I started looking for him.”

The drug-smuggling trial of Guzman, 58, a legendary accused trafficker who twice escaped Mexican jails, has featured almost daily insider testimony about the Sinaloa Cartel, its massive drug deals and its alleged leader. Cifuentes is the eleventh one-time cartel operative to appear as a cooperating witness.

He testified that until his arrest, he lived with Guzman for six years at one of his seven hideaways in the Sinaloa mountains — “humble pine huts” protected by 50 armed guards, with maid service and satellite TV — while supervising drug deals and fleeing with his boss when military expeditions got too close.

Guzman’s quarter-century in the drug business and escapades like his prison escapes gave him a high media profile, and Cifuentes said his own first wife in 2007 proposed that Guzman take advantage of his notoriety.

“He was always in the news,” Cifuentes testified. “She said he should do a movie about his life because the money was being made by all the papers.”

Guzman’s reaction?

“He loved the idea,” Cifuentes testified.

A prosecutor asked what role Guzman wanted to play.

“Director,” Cifuentes said.

Progress had been made on putting together a book as the foundation for the movie at the time of his arrest in 2013, but the film has never appeared, Cifuentes said.

Testimony is scheduled to resume on Tuesday. The trial began in November, and prosecutors have indicated they may wrap up their case by next week.

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