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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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February 24th, 2014
06:07 PM ET

Could drug kingpin 'El Chapo' escape prison, again?

(CNN) – The U.S. is seeking extradition of the world's biggest alleged drug lord – Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, whose 13 years on the lam came to an inglorious, shirtless end over the weekend.

Mexican authorities, using information from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigrations & Customs Enforcement, and the U.S. Marshals Service finally caught him in the Pacific resort town of Mazatlan.

"I was pretty stunned,"says The New Yorker's Patrick Radden Keefe spent six months researching and writing about El Chapo.

"Here's a guy who had been captured in the past, and essentially walked out of prison because he pays so many bribes, that he's been able to rely on corruption to have a pretty free hand in Mexico," said Radden Keefe.

'El Chapo' Guzman: How the world's most wanted drug lord was finally busted

Guzmán escaped a Mexican prison in 2001 in a laundry cart, reportedly with the help of guards.

"El Chapo," which means "shorty" in Spanish, a reflection of his 5'6" build, is suspected of running the Sinaloa cartel, the most powerful cartel in the world, with annual revenues that may top $3 billion.

Guzmán is suspected of being the main antagonist in the Mexican drug war, which has claimed nearly 80,000 lives in the last seven years.

Just last week, police raided one of his compounds while he was inside, but he slipped away through a secret door underneath a bathtub, into a network of tunnels connected to his six other homes.

He wasn't so lucky Saturday. A number of recent arrests of Sinaloa associates yielded a treasure trove of intelligence on the cartel, which allowed U.S. agencies to take out and monitor a number of wiretaps.

In the end, it was just one of those wiretaps that brought men with assault rifles to El Chapo's room.

During his time allegedly running the cartel, Guzmán is believed to have trafficked more than 100,000 tons of cocaine into the U.S. He has been indicted in New York, Illinois, Texas, California – hence the extradition request.

Through bribes to local, state and federal Mexican authorities, he remained free until Saturday.

"A big part of his lore, his mythology, is precisely that he was this uncatchable guy. There are hundreds of songs about him. And it's all about this guy who ran this kind of a multinational drug conglomerate, but managed to be two steps ahead of the authorities," said Radden Keefe.

For more of our interview with The New Yorker's Patrick Radden Keefe, check out the video above.

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