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El Chapo’s Interview With Sean Penn Led Authorities to Drug Lord in October: Report

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Notorious drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman met in secret with Sean Penn for several hours in October, and later provided a 17-minute videotaped response to interview questions submitted by the Academy Award-winning actor, according to an article published Saturday by Rolling Stone magazine.

Mexican forces escorted Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman out of an armored vehicle and into a helicopter late Friday night following his arrest after months on the run. (Credit: CEPROPIE via CNN)

Mexican forces escorted Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman out of an armored vehicle and into a helicopter late Friday night following his arrest after months on the run. (Credit: CEPROPIE via CNN)

"I want to make clear that this interview is for the exclusive use of Miss Kate del Castillo and Mr. Sean Penn," Guzman says in the video. Del Castillo, one of Mexico's most famous actresses, helped arrange the meeting between Guzman and Penn, the article stated.

The unusual meeting alerted authorities to the then-fugitive's whereabouts in October, a Mexican official told the Associated Press on Saturday evening.

The official, who declined to be identified publicly, said the interview led law enforcement to a rural part of the state of Durango, Mexico, according to the AP, adding that a raid was called off at the time because Guzman was with two women and a child.

The drug kingpin was captured in the Mexican city of Los Mochis on Friday after about six months as a fugitive, following his daring escape -- through a secretly constructed, mile-long tunnel -- from a maximum-security prison in that country.

It was the second time Guzman had broken out of such a facility and fled from custody. In 2001, he escaped from prison by hiding in a laundry cart, after which he remained at large for more than 12 years.

Sean Penn speaks at the 5th Annual Sean Penn & Friends HELP HAITI HOME Gala Benefiting the J/P Haitian Relief Organization, at Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills on Jan 9, 2016. (Credit: Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for J/P HRO)

Sean Penn speaks at the 5th Annual Sean Penn & Friends HELP HAITI HOME Gala Benefiting the J/P Haitian Relief Organization, at Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills on Jan 9, 2016. (Credit: Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for J/P HRO)

"I supply more heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana than anybody else in the world. I have a fleet of submarines, airplanes, trucks and boats," he says in the remarkable footage that accompanies Penn's 8,900-word article on RollingStone.com.

In the story, which quickly prompted reactions of astonishment and intrigue on social media, Penn recounts the complicated process of setting up the interview and traveling to a remote jungle location to meet Guzman.

A photo, dated Oct. 2, was released with the article "for verification purposes," according to Rolling Stone. It shows the then-fugitive and the actor shaking hands in front of an unadorned wall.

Guzman remained in custody Saturday, as the office of Mexico's attorney general announced that proceedings would begin for the drug dealer's extradition to the United States -- a process that may take months, CNN reported.