Escaped drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is taunting his pursuers and former captors — with online photos showing him enjoying a beer and in the cockpit of a plane.
The humiliating photos were posted on a blog by the billionairedrug lord’s son.
Guzman’s breakout was accomplished via a milelong tunnel dug 30-feet beneath the shower stall in his cell. A motorcycle on rails was used to move dirt and tools.
The tunnel, equipped with lighting and ventilation, ended near a remote construction site. A neighbor told authorities he saw a helicopter land there Saturday night, at around the time jailers discovered that Guzman was gone.
Authorities immediately launched a search in the Santa Juanita area west of Mexico City, and flights were suspended at the nearby Toluca airport, but there was no sign of the elusive Sinaloa Cartel king following his escape from the supposedly airtight Altiplano Prison.
“This is like capturing Osama bin Laden, having him spend a year in prison and then [walk] away from that prison only to re-engage in his terrorist activities,” said Anthony Coulson, a former US Drug Enforcement Administration supervisor.
Mexico’s government is offering a reward of up to $3.8 million for information leading to his capture, according to CNN.
When Guzman was captured last year, US officials talked to Mexican authorities about bringing him to the United States, out of fear that he would repeat his 2001 breakout from the same prison.
He was already under indictment for murder, kidnapping and drug charges in Brooklyn, Chicago and Miami, and they argued there would be little chance of his escaping from a US pen.
But American authorities never filed a formal extradition request because they knew the Mexicans would not agree to it.
Mexican authorities said 30 prison officials are being grilled over the fiasco.
“All the accolades that Mexico has received in their anti-drug efforts will be erased by this one event” if Guzman is not recaptured, said Michael S. Vigil, a retired DEA chief of international operations.