el chapo who is rs orig_00000406.jpg
el chapo who is rs orig_00000406.jpg
Now playing
00:59
Who is 'El Chapo'?
Drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted into a helicopter at Mexico City
PHOTO: ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted into a helicopter at Mexico City's airport on January 8, 2016
Now playing
01:40
Did Mexico deny Trump an 'El Chapo' victory?
PHOTO: Mexican Attorney General's Office
Now playing
01:11
Is this the new 'El Chapo'?
el chapo hideaways tunnels cuomo got shorty _00005819.jpg
el chapo hideaways tunnels cuomo got shorty _00005819.jpg
Now playing
01:06
Take a look at 'El Chapo' escape tunnels
Drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted into a helicopter at Mexico City
PHOTO: ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted into a helicopter at Mexico City's airport on January 8, 2016
Now playing
02:10
Jones, Lord debate timing of 'El Chapo' move
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:45
Where does America's heroin come from?
mexico search for el chapo son romo pkg_00010909.jpg
PHOTO: Getty Images
mexico search for el chapo son romo pkg_00010909.jpg
Now playing
02:24
The search for El Chapo's kidnapped son
el chapo flirty text enhancement surgery brian todd pkg tsr_00004624.jpg
el chapo flirty text enhancement surgery brian todd pkg tsr_00004624.jpg
Now playing
02:27
'El Chapo's' infatuation with actress Kate del Castillo
sean penn el chapo intv charlie rose newday_00003922.jpg
PHOTO: CBS
sean penn el chapo intv charlie rose newday_00003922.jpg
Now playing
03:03
Sean Penn: I did not bring down 'El Chapo'
Drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted to a helicopter at Mexico City
PHOTO: ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted to a helicopter at Mexico City's airport on January 8, 2016 following his recapture during an intense military operation in Los Mochis, in Sinaloa State. Mexican marines recaptured fugitive drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman on Friday in the northwest of the country, six months after his spectacular prison break embarrassed authorities. AFP PHOTO / ALFREDO ESTRELLA / AFP / ALFREDO ESTRELLA (Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:10
'El Chapo' held under extreme security measures
mexico el chapo birthplace romo pkg_00015819.jpg
mexico el chapo birthplace romo pkg_00015819.jpg
Now playing
02:13
Code of silence reigns in 'El Chapo' birthplace
el chapo prison pictures mexico romo pkg_00001514.jpg
PHOTO: CarlosLoret.com
el chapo prison pictures mexico romo pkg_00001514.jpg
Now playing
02:43
First pics of 'El Chapo' in prison
el chapo sean penn breaks silence romo lklv_00001808.jpg
PHOTO: Rolling Stone
el chapo sean penn breaks silence romo lklv_00001808.jpg
Now playing
01:46
Penn: El Chapo article was a 'failure'
el chapo raid video romo nr_00014603.jpg
PHOTO: Mexican Government
el chapo raid video romo nr_00014603.jpg
Now playing
03:00
Bullets fly in raid that nets 'El Chapo'
PHOTO: Plaza de Armas
Now playing
01:56
Take a look at the hotel where 'El Chapo' was stowed
(CNN) —  

The former Mexican drug trafficker greeted alleged kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman with a nod and a smile on Thursday before revealing that the Sinaloa cartel maintained a corruption budget of more than $1 million per month.

Vicente Zambada, 43, the latest cooperating witness at Guzman’s conspiracy trial in Brooklyn, New York, federal court, shed light on the millions paid by the cartel to corrupt government officials on its way to becoming one of the world’s most significant organized crime organizations.

The son of Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada – a wanted man who allegedly heads the cartel now that Guzman is behind bars – Zambada walked into court wearing a dark prison uniform. He smiled and nodded at Guzman, who sat at the defense table wearing a dark navy blue suit and matching tie.

While testifying against his onetime mentor, Zambada repeatedly referred to Guzman, 61, in Spanish as “mi compadre,” or “my buddy.” Zambada said he has known Guzman since he was 15, and that Guzman is the godfather of his youngest son.

Zambada testified that his responsibilities with the cartel included clandestine meetings with high-ranking members of law enforcement and Mexican military officials who helped facilitate smuggling operations and assured the assignment of “friendly” officers in key regions.

For their services, the Mexican government officials collected bribes from more than $1 million set aside each month, Zambada said.

That budget did not include bonuses paid after successful drug shipments, Zambada testified.

Zambada testified there was a 2008 government offer to invest in a ship from the state-owned oil company that could be used to transport 100 tons of cocaine. The deal apparently fell through.

Zambada was arrested in Mexico in 2009 and later extradited to the United States on conspiracy and drug trafficking charges. He pleaded guilty in one federal case against him in Chicago. He has not been sentenced, but faces 10 years to life in prison and agreed to forfeit $1.37 billion. He hopes his cooperation will lead to a reduced sentence.

Guzman has pleaded not guilty to charges of international drug trafficking and conspiracy to murder rivals.

The case against Guzman is built in part on the testimony of a procession of cooperating witnesses, mostly former cartel associates already incarcerated or who have been given new identities and relocated by the US government.

Zambada’s uncle, Jesus Zambada Garcia, also known as “El Rey,” or “The King,” was one of those witnesses. He testified in November that he paid off countless Mexican officials from 1987 to 2001. Once, he told the jury, Guzman asked him to deliver $100,000 to a Mexican military general to ensure a drug shipment was delivered without interruption.

Defense lawyers have sought to portray the cooperating witnesses as unreliable snitches who have exaggerated Guzman’s role in the cartel in hope of more lenient sentences.

Zambada returns to the stand on Friday.