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U.S. Authorities, Sinaloa cartel both targeting actor Sean Penn?

January 11, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
U.S. Authorities, Sinaloa cartel both targeting actor Sean Penn?

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Actor Sean Penn may have stepped in it from both ends of the criminal spectrum as fallout continues over the controversial interview he conducted for Rolling Stone that led to the capture of Mexican drug baron Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and the circus that followed in the aftermath.

The interview was conducted under the watchful eye of Mexican law enforcement, who had monitored his movements the moment he arrived in Mexico.

Newly released surveillance photos posted online by Mexican newspaper El Universal shows the actor in sunglasses and a baseball hat traveling for his seven-hour meeting with the infamous drug lord.

Penn can be seen in one shot walking through the airport terminal, while another shows him and Mexican soap-opera star Kate del Castillo — who brokered the sit-down — at the Villa Ganz Boutique Hotel in Guadalajara, greeting some men involved in their further transport.

Another photo shows one of the two Cessna airplanes on the clandestine airstrip reportedly used to take Penn and Castillo into Mexico’s “Golden Triangle, the region of Sinaloa that borders neighboring states of Durango and Chihuahua.

The ten surveillance photos appear shot from a distance with a telephoto lens, with many labeled to identify del Castillo and other people.

Sean Penn arrives at  Guadalajara.

Sean Penn arrives at Guadalajara for his meeting with Joaquin El Chapo Guzman in October

El Universal said the photos were obtained along with a Mexican government intelligence file.

Experts say Penn’s life of an investigative reporter could now potentially put a target on his back by both Mexican drug traffickers and U.S. federal law enforcement.

Rolling Stone magazine published the actor’s interview with Guzman, following El Chapo’s apprehension by Mexican Marines.

“Depending on what the cartels and/or the many corrupt Mexican cops and Mexican government officials believe El Chapo divulged during the interview, Penn, and whoever else was present, may be in more physical danger than he could ever imagine,” said Michael Levine, DEA veteran and author of the bestseller “Deep Cover, Mexican Government Drug Corruption from the Inside.”

RELATED: Sinaloa cartel bosses blaming both son of El Chapo and actor Sean Penn for drug lord’s arrest

“He poked his head into a nest of vipers with an incredible global reach,” Levine added. “He was a fool. As public as Penn is he will be a sitting duck.”

A law enforcement official also told Fox News Penn and also his family may also be in danger.

“It won’t happen now. They (the Cartel) wait, Him or people close to him are in danger. They don’t single out the one person. They go for the person’s family,” the law enforcement source said.

As JammedUp reported yesterday, a source with knowledge of the investigation said senior cartel leadership are pointing the finger at Penn for Guzman’s capture along with his son Ivan Archivaldo Guzman, who sold his father on the idea of a biopic film on his life’s story.

The Sinaloa Cartel are not the only ones who might be targeting the “Carlito’s Way” star. According to multiple reports out of New York, Preet Bharara, the Manhattan US Attorney, has opened a federal probe of Penn’s ties to Guzman.

According to multiple reports out of New York, Preet Bharara, the Manhattan US Attorney, has opened a federal probe of Penn’s ties to Guzman.

Law enforcement sources said Sunday that prosecutors are obtaining a subpoena to search the cellphone of the award-winning actor after he interviewed the former fugitive cartel boss for Rolling Stone magazine.

One of the private planes used to transport actors Sean Penn and Kate Del Castillo to meet Chapo Guzman

One of the private planes used to transport actors Sean Penn and Kate Del Castillo to meet Chapo Guzman

Officials discovered the link between Penn and El Chapo back in October, and sources say federal agents have determined that communications between the pair “could have gone back even further.”

“Human intelligence helped us uncover the connection between Chapo Guzman and Penn, not phone taps,” one source revealed, “which is what made us start investigating their relationship.”

Another source said the probe included authorities in Mexico monitoring the cellphone activity by close Guzman associates.

Chapo Guzman appears to have been collaborating on a biopic about his life story with Mexican actress Kate del Castillo, before the meeting with Penn took place.

“People began to hear of his intentions, and began leaking the news out, which is when Sean Penn entered the picture, what I can say with confidence, is that If Mr. Guzman had never met with the actor, he would not have gotten caught,” the source said.

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 7.53.03 AM

“It’s shocking that a famous actor like Penn would be mixed up with an international drug trafficker, who is on the run from law enforcement, and what makes it even worse is that Penn is an American. Disgusting. But Penn does hold an anti-government view,” another source said.

A former federal law enforcement official told Fox News that he believes there was “enough evidence to pursue charges against Penn, it would all matter on how they could articulate that he had knowledge of the hidden location of a fugitive, who is viewed as a national security threat to the U.S.”

Del Castillo is not immune either from the investigation. Law enforcement officials are investigating how the Mexican starlet and anyone else involved in organizing the sit-down meeting at a jungle hideout in the Mexican state of Durango,” another source said.

Guzman first contacted Del Castillo in 2012, after she tweeted that she would trust “Chapo” Guzman over the corrupt Mexican government.

According to the Mexican newspaper El Universal, legal representatives for the drug lord contacted the actress in 2014 to produce a biopic film of his life, similar to the Netflix hit series “Narcos,” which is based on the life of Colombian kingpin Pablo Escobar.

The paper said the actress has since become a sort of public relations tool for the drug lord.

Del Castillo even went as far as to contact a director in Argentina to write the screenplay for the film. Also, the actress was approached in an attempt to stop the release of a movie based on Guzman’s recent prison break called, “The Escape of The Century.”

Sean Penn, left, and the drug lord Joaquín Guzmán Loera in a photo taken for interview authentication purposes. Credit Rolling Stone

Sean Penn left, and the drug lord Joaquín Guzmán Loera in a photo taken for interview authentication purposes. Credit Rolling Stone

The U.S Attorney’s office refused to comment on the probe. It is unknown what charges Penn and Del Castillo could face and why is the New York office is leading the investigation.

Penn disclosed in the Rolling Stone piece; that he met with a “friend” he identified only as El Alto Garcia at the”St. Regis hotel in Midtown Manhattan, who later traveled with him and Del Castillo to Mexico for the Guzman interview.

Like El Chapo. Penn could also be in legal jeopardy in both countries after Police officials in Mexico told ABC and Agence France-Presse that the actor and del Castillo were already under investigation by the Mexican Attorney General’s who want to question them about their involvement.

Penn responded to queries by the Associated Press regarding the interview in an email exchange. The actor expressed no regrets about his secret meeting with “El Chapo.” He was also asked about images published by Mexican news outlets on Monday that appeared to show Mexican agents watching him and Del Castillo before the October visit with Guzman.

“I’ve got nothing to hide,” he wrote.

According to Floyd Abrams, who is a media attorney and constitutional attorney with expertise on the First Amendment, Penn should not face criminal charges, as long as he only conducted an interview with Guzman.

“No, it doesn’t violate any law, The fact that he’s acting as a journalist, if anything, would be even more helpful in showing that he wasn’t engaged in some conspiracy,” Abrams said.

“if he gave him money, or offered advice on evading capture then he would be complicit in a crime,” Abrams said.

Rolling Stone is being widely criticized after the magazine had agreed to give Guzman final approval before publication, as part of the deal for the interview, which was posted online Saturday. However, Rolling Stone insists that El Chapo “did not ask for any changes.”

Penn refused to answer questions whether it was right for him to submit the story to Guzman for approval ahead of the publication of the article, or if he took the correct measures to protect his source.

GOP presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio ripped the actor’s favorable account of his meeting with the drug lord on Sunday, saying it was “grotesque,” and calling Penn “a has-been,” on ABC’s this week.

“I didn’t even know he was still around, I think he made movies a long time ago or something,” said Rubio.

Guzman, who escaped from the Altiplano maximum-security back in July through an elaborate underground tunnel, is facing extradition to the United States, where he is under indictment in several U.S. cities.

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