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Chris Smith: '60 Minutes' interviews Montgomery High School grad Peter Vincent on 'El Chapo'

Wouldn't you know that last Sunday evening I was running around with family in Nevada and missed this one “60 Minutes.”

The main story involved the re-capture of notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. And who was one of the report's top sources?

An ex-Santa Rosa boy whom Montgomery High launched to Cal and on to law school and a role as a senior legal adviser to the U.S. Justice Department and Homeland Security.

Peter Vincent, 49, told “60 Minutes” that Guzman's appetites, self-worship and delusion of invulnerability led to him exposing his whereabouts to the authorities who pursued him since his shady escape last July from a Mexican prison.

“He became drunk on his own wine,” the 1984 Monty grad, told CBS's Bill Whitaker.

“He started to believe the hype that he was special, that he was almost a demigod, that he was truly magical. And he became so incredibly arrogant that he thought he was untouchable.”

Vincent left government service and works nows as counsel to a subsidiary of Thompson Reuters, the multinational mass media and information firm. But for years he advised criminal investigators with Immigration and Homeland Security.

He told “60 Minutes” that Guzman gave away his hiding places not only by acting as though he were above being caught but by engaging in trackable communications with actress Kate del Castillo and by ordering in princely amounts of food and drink.

Vincent said that when Sean Penn traveled with del Castillo to an interview with Guzman last fall, the actors became “unwilling participants” in the cartel chief's capture by authorities who'd been monitoring communications and movements.

Vincent said on national TV, “For an incredibly savvy, clever, almost a criminal genius that El Chapo Guzman was, he ultimately was done in by very simple tastes: Tacos, tequila, and chicas.”

Vincent said by phone Friday that to be part of the CBS report was a supreme experience.

“60 Minutes, you really can't compare,” said the former Sonoma County resident. “The quality of their journalism is second to none.”

On with Bill Whitaker a week ago and here in the PD today. The ex-Viking is on a roll.

ROLLING ALONG ALSO is Olive Nead, who was 33 when she settled on outer Sebastopol's Watertrough Road in 1948 and began to raise chickens.

Once her two daughters were in school and able to do most everything for themselves, Olive treated herself to a return to the classroom. She studied at SRJC and then at the Santa Rosa Center of San Francisco State College, precursor to SSU.

Olive was red-faced and palpitating as she walked into class on finals day because west Sonoma County was so hot she had to water down the chicken houses. Her professor told her to go on back to the hens; her grades were more than sufficient to her passing without taking the final.

Olive was 40 when she began teaching at Forestville Elementary, moving later to Gravenstein. She taught for 21 years.

Yesterday she turned 101. If asked the sources of her happiness and longevity, she speaks of work, the love of family and friends, service to others and travel. She might also say the occasional bourbon-and-7 before supper doesn't hurt.

Chris Smith is at 521-5211 and chris.smith@pressdemocrat.com.

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