El Chapo cartel member arrested in Colombia after model girlfriend posts photos on Facebook

Trafficker wanted in 196 countries

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Saturday 16 April 2022 19:40
How did 'El Chapo' escape from a high-security prison?
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A notorious Mexican drug trafficker linked to jailed kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s cartel has been captured in Colombia, according to police, after his model girlfriend posted pictures of the pair kissing at a tourist attraction on Facebook.

Colombian police arrested alleged Sinaloa drug cartel capo Brian Donaciano Olguin Verdugo, known by his nickname “El Pitt,” in a luxury apartment in the city of Cali, they announced last Sunday.

The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) alerted Colombian authorities that El Pitt had entered the country in February. A Facebook post, made by the unnamed model, showing the couple at Los Cristales, a hilltop statue of Jesus Christ, helped police track down the pair.

“Breaking all security protocols, including using only encrypted apps, the model convinced him to take a selfie kissing in front of Los Cristales mountain,” a police source told El Tiempo. “She immediately posted the photo on her Facebook account.”

The Independent has contacted the DEA for comment.

Security officials then spent two weeks trailing and surreptitiously photographing the drug trafficker, who was reportedly in the country to broker deals with former Colombian guerillas regarding shipments of cocaine to Mexico.

Surveillance photos published by El Tiempo show the couple lounging in bed at night, where Verdugo is shirtless and can be seen with distinctive tattoos on his chest, one of the markers police were told to look out for.

The alleged Sinaloa leader, who was seeking to establish a permanent resident in Colombia and serve as a regular cartel emissary between Mexico and Colombia, then tried to bribe police with around $265,000, officials say.

“If I was in Mexico, I would have already been freed by a group of armed men,” he told arresting officers, according to El Tiempo.

Verdugo will now be extradited to California for prosecution on charges of cocaine trafficking, according to police.

At the time of his capture, Mr Verdugo had an active Interpol red warrant for his arrest in 196 countries.

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