Drug kingpin Joaquín Guzmán Loera, more commonly known as El Chapo, was handed a mandatory life sentence on Feb. 12 after the conclusion of a three-month long trial that unveiled the scope of his drug trade into the U.S. and the violent crimes he orchestrated in Mexico. However, for the man who notoriously escaped two Mexican prisons, the question of which facility can properly incarcerate him, without room for one of his inexplicable vanishing acts, remains.
According to Chapo's lawyers, the crime lord will likely be sent to the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility in Florence, CO. "He's going to Supermax, I'm sure, in Colorado," his lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman told CNN. "No one has ever escaped. It's absolutely impossible. It's not even an issue."
According to the New York Times, the facility, which is often refered to as ADX, or colloquially as the Alcatraz of the Rockies, "was meant to be both punitive and escape-proof, a penal fortress where inmates spend 23 hours a day inside their cells with little human contact and only one window, three feet high and four inches wide."
One of ADX's former wardens previously spoke of the chilling conditions the facility is kept in. “This place is not designed for humanity,” he told the Times. “It’s not designed for rehabilitation. Period. End of story.”
The penitentiary holds some of the country's most dangeous criminals and convicted terrorists. Ted Kaczynski, often referred to as the Unabomber, is serving out several life sentences. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who carried out the Boston Marathon bombings with his late brother, is awaiting his death sentence. Eric Robert Rudolph was handed several life sentences for his role in the 1996 bombing at the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta. Terry Nichols, an associate of Timothy McVeigh, was convicted for his role in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, which killed 168 individuals.
The facility holds a number of other convicted felons, including the orchestrator behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
According to El Chapo himself, 10 South, the prison in Manhattan where he has been located for the past two years, maintains similarly harsh conditions. "While the supermax is onerous," Lichtman said, "I know it’s not worse than what he’s already experienced."