Two McDonald's cooks who helped bring down infamous cartel boss Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman have said they modelled their drugs empire on work at the fast-food chain.
Twin brothers Pedro Flores and Margarito Flores went on to become the most prolific drug dealers ever seen in Chicago, US, using the skills they learned at McDonald's.
The pair have now lifted the lid on their incredible story in a new podcast called Surviving El Chapo: The Twins Who Brought Down A Drug Lord.
READ MORE: Rumours Mexican President is 'brokering cartel peace deal' with El Chapo's sons
Although the brothers were working at a McDonald's in Chicago when they were 17, they'd been involved in the drugs trade from a very young age.
Their father, having been in prison for arranging a heroin deal at the same McDonald's, would take them on road trips to Mexico in the late 1980s to buy loads of cannabis – when they were just 7.
Through him, Pedro and Margarito learned the basics of the drugs trade.
After their father moved to Mexico and their older brother was arrested on a drugs charge in 1998, the twins were on their own.
By 17, they explained they were working at the McDonald's while also selling cocaine and sitting on around $1million (£880,000) in profit.
Although the podcast doesn't always identify which was speaking, one brother explained: "I was learning the business part at McDonald’s. I’m learning to do fries. I’m learning to grill. I washed the dishes. I did the drive-thru. I did the front.
"It was a great experience for the both of us, I think.
"McDonald’s went the extra mile to make the ketchup pump and the mustard pump to release the exact amount of mustard and the exact amount of ketchup needed to taste the same every time. You know what you’re gonna get."
They said they applied the lessons they learned at the burger chain to their drugs business, ensuring the quality of their product remained top notch.
Recalling one instance when a McDonald's employee dropped a block of cheese on the floor and still intended to use, they spoke about learning how to accept business loss.
One brother told the employee: “There’s a thousand blocks of cheese in the freezer. Believe me, McDonald’s is not going to care. They’re going to care more that you gave somebody cheese with hair on it.”
They applied that lesson when Margarito was kidnapped.
Despite knowing he had committed the kidnapping, the pair didn't seek revenge as they felt it would be bad for business. Instead, Pedro paid for his brother's freedom with cocaine.
The Flores' twins' drugs empire grew and grew until they were approached by federal law enforcement officials in Monterrey, Mexico in 2008.
Bang to rights, they agreed to cooperate against their supplier – El Chapo – in return for admitting to importing huge amounts of cocaine and receiving reduced 14-year sentences.
Pedro testified at El Chapo's trial in 2018, which led to the Sinaloa Cartel boss being sentenced to life in prison.
The Flores twins are now free, keeping a low profile given the constant threat of cartel revenge.
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