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U.S. DEA activates 'Chapotips' hotline to catch escaped Mexican convict

By Tomas Monzon
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U.S. DEA activates 'Chapotips' hotline to catch escaped Mexican convict
Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzman is arrested by Mexican marines on Feb. 22, 2014. Photo courtesy of PGR/Mexican Federal Government

ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 6 (UPI) -- The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) on Wednesday launched a hotline for individuals with information that may lead to the capture of escaped drug trafficker, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

Individuals in Mexico, Central and South America may call 001-844-692-4101 while those in the U.S. may call (844) 692-4101. Anyone may e-mail the agency at chapotips@usdoj.gov.

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In addition to the hotline, the DEA has distributed wanted posters that include the aforementioned contact information as well as details about a $5 million reward for anyone that can offer the agency information that may lead to the Sinaloa cartel leader's capture.

DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg believes the criminal is in Mexico, hiding in his birth state of Sinaloa. "El Chapo" has also been charged with crimes in Arizona, California, Texas, Illinois, New York and Florida.

RELATED Seven prison workers charged in 'El Chapo' escape

"El Chapo" escaped from the maximum-security Altiplano Federal Prison in the town of Almoloya de Juarez in Mexico on July 12. He was last seen in his cell at 8:52 p.m. that day. He escaped through a tunnel in a shower area, whose entrance was about 20-by-20 inches and whose depth was 5 feet. PVC piping was found throughout the tunnel, in addition to a motorcycle that was allegedly used to dig and transport materials for the tunnel. Mexican security forces launched a manhunt for the criminal shortly thereafter.

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"El Chapo" had been captured in Guatemala in 1993 and then extradited to Mexico, accused of murder and drug trafficking charges. He was convicted and jailed, but he escaped from prison in 2001 through prison guard bribes before being recaptured in February 2014.

RELATED Video released of Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán prior to escape

RELATED Mexico offering $3.8 million reward for Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman capture

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