Picked Up

Was El Chapo Caught Because of a Suspiciously Large Taco Order?

Caught. Photo-Illustration: Grub Street. Photos: Alejandro Ayala/Xinhua Press/Corbis; Taco Bell

People are wondering what bit of intel revealed that drug lord El Chapo was in the hideaway that Mexican authorities raided earlier this month, and as it turns out, it might have been a suspiciously sized taco order. Officials had reason to believe he might end up at a house in the state of Sinaloa that they’d tracked one of the tunnel diggers to, so they staked it out. On January 8, a man they thought might be a Chapo henchman jumped in a van and drove two blocks to pick up a late-night, much-too-large order of tacos, and that was the proof they needed.

Reports the New York Times:

Toward the beginning of January, there was unusual activity at the house, with the residents inside breaking from their routines of the previous month, the authorities said. They intercepted phone conversations discussing the imminent arrival of someone known by the aliases of “Grandma” and “Aunt.”

Then, at dawn on Jan. 7, a car pulled up to the house. The authorities’ certainty that [El Chapo] had arrived increased. That night, after the taco order, they were nearly sure of it.

Before sunrise the next morning, 17 Special Forces marines from the Mexican Navy stormed the house, supported by 50 soldiers charged with surveillance and keeping an eye on the drain system in and around the home. … [T]hey entered what appeared to be a tiny foyer, surrounded by a maze of doors. Shortly after, gunfire erupted.

Seriously, let this serve as a reminder to all that unchecked hunger will doom even the greatest criminal masterminds. Ethan Couch, that “affluenza” kid who fled to Puerto Vallarta with his mom, also had his escape foiled by an ill-advised food order — that one a crime in and of itself to Domino’s.


El Chapo Doomed By Suspicious Taco Order