National Enquirer - - ENQUIRER EXCLUSIVE -

THE world’s most feared drug traf­ficker — Joaquín “El

Chapo” Guzmán — is un­der heavy guard while on trial in New York, but The Na­tional EN­QUIRER has ex­clu­sively learned he is still con­duct­ing his bil­lion-dol­lar drug busi­ness from fed­eral prison!

The blood­thirsty fiend — who sat at the top of the Drug En­force­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion’s Most Wanted list be­fore his cap­ture — is still call­ing the shots at his Si­naloa car­tel, en­sur­ing busi­ness as usual for the drug em­pire re­spon­si­ble for most of the heroin, co­caine and metham­phetamine smug­gled into the U.S. Al­though El Chapo faces life in prison on traf­fick­ing, mur­der con­spir­acy and money-laun­der­ing charges, foot sol­diers re­main loyal to the 61-year-old king­pin.

“Even if he’s not here, we gotta keep go­ing. Whether he’s here or not, we’re still in the mafia with him,” said one of his min­ions.

One of El Chapo’s top lieu­tenants, his cousin Pe­dro, added: “He’s good to us. All I can say is that peo­ple here in the moun­tains love him.”

Pe­dro over­sees the em­pire’s day-to-day op­er­a­tions and claims El Chapo’s ar­rest and trial have done lit­tle to dis­rupt the drug don’s po­si­tion in the ul­tra­vi­o­lent crim­i­nal or­ga­ni­za­tion — a sit­u­a­tion that’s sure to em­bar­rass U.S. pros­e­cu­tors!

In fact, dur­ing a visit to the car­tel’s se­cret pack­ag­ing fa­cil­ity hid­den deep in the Mex­i­can jun­gle, Pe­dro bragged that El Chapo’s co­caine and heroin ship­ments to the U.S. are pro­tected by deadly “Si­car­ios” — ma­chine­gun-tot­ing hit­men loyal to the mur­der­ous gang leader!

The EN­QUIRER has even seen El Chapo’s foot sol­diers — in­clud­ing one wear­ing a mask of his boss — use tape to pack­age pure Colom­bian co­caine that’s des­tined to be sold on the streets of

Los An­ge­les af­ter a jour­ney in­volv­ing mo­tor boats.

As El Chapo’s trial un­folds in New York, de­tails of his life and pre­vi­ous prison es­cape sound like scenes from a movie!

Pros­e­cu­tors have pre­sented a pa­rade of for­mer hench­men and lieu­tenants who tes­ti­fied that at the height of his power in the ’90s, El Chapo had four wives, four planes, a yacht, a string of beach houses, a di­a­mond-en­crusted hand­gun and a small train he used to tour his pri­vate zoo with li­ons, tigers, pan­thers and deer!

He also launched fear­some cam­paigns of vengeance against his en­e­mies, and his at­tempts to kill Miguel An­gel Martinez — who is cur­rently tes­ti­fy­ing against him at trial — in­cluded hir­ing a mari­achi band to per­form a mur­der bal­lad out­side of his prison cell for an en­tire night and throw­ing grenades into his cell.

Stab­bing at­tacks on his life were so bad, Miguel even­tu­ally got a pad­lock to se­cure him­self in his cell at night!

The five-foot-six drug lord — whose nick­name means “Shorty” — was even­tu­ally ar­rested by Mex­i­can po­lice in 2014, but he grabbed world­wide head­lines af­ter his fe­ro­cious un­der­lings freed him from Mex­ico’s tough­est max­i­mum-se­cu­rity prison in 2015.

Af­ter brib­ing guards with mil­lions of dol­lars, El Chapo es­caped through a shower drain and down a lad­der into a so­phis­ti­cated mile-long tun­nel equipped with lights, oxy­gen pipes and a mo­tor­cy­cle. He sped off to free­dom on the bike and van­ished. How­ever, he was smoked out a year later when the love­struck drug boss agreed to meet with sexy Mex­i­can ac­tress Kate del Castillo and Os­car win­ner Sean Penn for a tele­vised in­ter­view.

The thug was ex­tra­dited to the U.S. a year later — trig­ger­ing the as­sas­si­na­tion of 82 Mex­i­can politi­cians who al­legedly didn't do enough to

stop the govern­ment’s men from shipping him across the bor­der to face Amer­i­can jus­tice!

De­spite Penn’s rep­u­ta­tion for play­ing tough guys on screen, the star was spooked by El Chapo’s un­der­world clout and re­mains wor­ried to this day. “He hon­estly be­lieves there’s a price on his head and he’s con­stantly look­ing over his shoul­der,” said a source close to the 58-year-old ac­tor. With El Chapo’s trial play­ing out in a Brook­lyn court­room, his lawyers are ex­pected to ar­gue that he’s just a flunky in the no­to­ri­ous Mex­i­can car­tel.

El Chapo’s cousin Pe­dro said the king­pin has been good to the Mex­i­can peo­ple

Pe­dro helps over­see thecar­tel’s op­er­a­tions

Si­naloa car­tel boss Joaquin Guz­man (shown in Mex­ico in 2014) built the largest il­le­gal drug or­ga­ni­za­tion in the world

The drug lord gained free­dom with help from both prison guards and his hench­men

Guzmán es­caped prison in 2015 by slip­ping out through a tun­nel equipped with amo­tor­cy­cle

El Chapo is fac­ingjus­tice in a fed­eral court­house!

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