Inmates always pose a risk when it comes to escaping, but then there is a whole different kind of threat- El Chapo.
During his run from the government, Guzman has managed to perform unthinkable jailbreaks, escaping two high-security Mexican prisons before his last and final capture, resulting in him being extradited to the United States.
El Chapo is known for his decade long reign over his Sinaloa cartel, shipping hundreds of thousands of drugs, including cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine, fueling the addiction problem that America is facing.
With the drug lord being convicted earlier this week, many are questioning where he will spend his life long sentence? According to experts, Guzman is the perfect candidate for the federal government’s “Supermax” prison in Florence, Colorado, also known ADX for “administrative maximum.” Many people who have witnessed the strong structure of the building referred to it as the “Alcatraz of the Rockies.”
“El Chapo fits the bill perfectly,” said Cameron Lindsay, a retired warden was in charge of three federal lockups, including the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. “I’d be shocked if he’s not sent to the ADX.”
The facility is located outside of an old mining town, two hours south of Denver, the walls hold the nations most violent and gruesome offenders with its 400 inmates held alone for 23 hours a day in 7-by-12-foot cells with minimal furniture made of concrete.
Some of the residents include Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and Oklahoma City bombing accomplice Terry Nichols.
Guzman’s daring 2015 escape from the maximum-security Altiplano prison in central Mexico, involved communication with accomplices inside and outside the jail via cell phone for weeks, he managed to slip into an escape hatch located underneath his shower, then hopped on the back of a waiting motorcycle and sped through a mile-long, hand tug tunnel.
Many believe he bribed most of his accomplices, which allowed for such an easy escape. Also, he managed to escape out of another top security prison smuggled through a laundry basket.
“There had to be collusion from within,” said Mike Vigil, a former U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent who went undercover in Mexico. “There is no doubt corruption played a role in both of his spectacular escapes.”
The likely hood of that happening is very slim to none according to the guards that once patrolled the concrete jungle. Many of the prisoners at Supermax spend years in solitary confinement and go days with “only a few words spoken to them.” A former prisoner described it as an “a high-tech version of hell, designed to shut down all sensory perception.”
Many inmates are only given television, but their only outside view of the world is through a 4-inch window. The window is designed to confuse the prisoners from determining where they are housed in the structure. Meals are eaten in the isolation of their cell, within inches of the toilets.
Security is always on high alert, with razor-wire fences, gun towers and heavily armed patrols with multiple attack dogs.
“If ever there were an escape-proof prison, it’s the facility at Florence,” said Burl Cain, the retired longtime warden of the maximum-security Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. “It’s the prison of all prisons.”
Although Guzman placement is not concrete, U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue said he’s staring at “a sentence from which there is no escape and no return.”