Just a few cells away from drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman at a New York City jail, jet-setting financier Jeffrey Epstein sit accused of operating a unique form of the criminal network.
There was the group of recruiters and enablers bringing Epstein dozens of underage girls to abuse, federal prosecutors, allege sexually.
There was the assistant who scheduled these encounters, and the butler who cleaned up afterward and doled out money and presents to the girls, authorities contend in court records.
There have been the mansions in New York and Florida, the sprawling ranch in New Mexico and the private island within the Caribbean that kept prying eyes at a distance, and invested types his workers needed to signal to swear they would not talk about him openly.
All of it served to protect Epstein with layer upon layer of secretiveness, investigators say, like a kingpin. And, as ultimately occurred to Guzman, all of it might be on the verge of collapsing inward on him.
The linchpin of the operation described within the federal indictment towards Epstein had been the recruiters — a few of the victims themselves — who targeted girls as young as 13. Epstein deemed his group so essential that he tried to protect a number of them from federal charges below the identical nonprosecution agreement that allowed him to keep away from a lengthy federal jail sentence and plead guilty in 2008 to lesser state charges in Florida.