5 California Inmates Are Already Plotting El Chapo's Next Prison Escape
Five California prisoners shot a video pledging their loyalty to help convicted drug kingpin "El Chapo" plot a third escape from prison.
Inmates at the Taft Correctional Institution in Kern County, California have pledged their allegiance to convicted drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in anticipation of Guzman possibly being extradited to their facility. The group of five men referred to themselves as “hitmen” in a video they appeared to film themselves from inside the prison. While obscuring their faces with cloth masks, hats and sunglasses, the point-of-view-style shot clip features an elaborate tour through the Taft facility as the inmates make their intentions known in Spanish.
“We want to tell the people this: If you bring El Señor here, and if El Señor asks us to free him, we are going to take him out immediately.”
The men counted themselves among a group of 3,500 “soldiers” prepared to take Guzman’s word as law. They also hinted at bribing various prison officials to assist with efforts to free Guzman.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the video began circulating around Jan.19, when it was announced Guzman would be extradited from Mexico to New York to face charges of murder, drug trafficking, money laundering and other crimes in six separate indictments. Guzman was charged with leading Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel in efforts to traffic cocaine from Colombia into the U.S. via Mexico.
Guzman’s infamous prison breaks became news after he escaped from a Mexican prison in 2001 by hiding in a load of laundry. The man who would become known as “El Chapo” was a fugitive for 13 years before being captured in 2014. Roughly 17 months after his second capture, Guzman dug a tunnel to escape a maximum-security prison near Mexico City.
The Bureau of Prisons has since begun investigating irregularities at the Taft Facility after the California inmates’ video was posted on several news sites.