sean penn El Chapo
Courtesy of Sean Penn

Sean Penn’s meeting with Mexican drug cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera may have led authorities to him.

According to People, the meeting that led to the Rolling Stone interview was one of the “avenues of opportunity” that caused the drug lord’s capture. Guzman was tracked down because of the meeting in which he discussed making a biopic about his life. However, this doesn’t mean that Penn was working with the authorities.

“They thought they were clever,” an American official with knowledge of the investigation told People. “They weren’t. They were amateurs trying to beat the pros on the pros’ turf.”

Penn told the Associated Press on Monday that he’s not concealing anything from authorities.

“I’ve got nothin’ to hide,” he wrote in an email exchange.

Penn, accompanied by actress Kate del Castillo, only met with Guzman once in-person at a jungle camp. Guzman wanted Castillo, who had played a drug trafficker in a TV series, to have a part in a film about his life.

“The movie and Sean Penn were not part of a scheme designed to catch Chapo,” the source continued. “The process those people put in motion though opened up opportunities to be exploited. It created openings to explore, breadcrumbs to follow.”

A six-month investigation preceded the raid on Guzman’s camp. It led to a violent gun fight, leaving five suspects dead and six arrested. Since his capture, Mexico has begun the process of extraditing Guzman to the U.S.

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