Drew Hogan, formerly of the Drug Enforcement Agency, is one of the men who took down infamous Mexican drug lord and cartel kingpin El Chapo. Hogan was part of a team of American and Mexican authorities who tracked down Joacquin Guzman, better known as El Chapo:
<blockquote>“It was time to embrace, it was time to step up and be proud at what I’d done, what my teammates had accomplished, because this story goes beyond just the one man,” he said. “It’s about two countries coming together and accomplishing something that most thought was impossible.”</blockquote>
Hogan describes the first fateful meeting with Guzman on the Today show Wednesday:
“I ran right up to him, jumped into his face and said the first thing that came into my head and it was — I screamed, ‘What’s up, Chapo?!'”
Until just recently, Hogan's identity had been kept a secret for his own protection. He explains that the tracking down of the mastermind criminal was all in "the details."
<blockquote>“The phone numbers don’t lie,” he said. “We began intercepting members of Chapo’s inner circle, starting to dismantle layers within a sophisticated communication structure until we got to the top, where I had his personal secretary’s device, who was standing right next to him.”</blockquote>
From finding a phone number, Hogan was able to ping the secretary's phone and discern the location. Guzman had spent 13 years on the run before he was converged on by the Mexican and American authorities.
On the show, Hogan was wearing the black baseball cap he'd nabbed from the Sinaloa drug lord when he was nabbed at a hotel in Mazatlan in February of 2014.
Hogan was wearing Guzmán’s black baseball cap he’d swiped from his closet when he first encountered the elusive kingpin.
“His eyes kind of bulged out. It was very dark. Our eyes locked there for a second,” Hogan says.
Hunting El Chapo, Hogan's book is now available for sale, he's aware of the possible danger he faces by going public with the story but believes it is one that needs to be told. It is especially dangerous to flaunt the story of the capture of El Chapo considering he has made dramatically broken out of prison twice. The last time he escaped from his cell through a mile-long tunnel built from his shower in July 2015.
“It was pretty predictable,” Hogan admitted, pointing out that it was similar to tunnels foundin Guzman's safehouses. “It was coming if they didn’t have him on complete lockdown.”
Guzman was last caught in January 2016 and extradited to the US where he's incarcerated at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan awaiting trial.