Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the infamous drug kingpin known as El Chapo, was convicted Tuesday on 10 counts in U.S. federal court, and faces a life sentence for the crimes.
Guzman, who ran the Sinaloa drug cartel, spent years evading the law and twice, after being convicted and jailed, escaped Mexican prisons to continue his life on the lam.
Guzman, 61, will be sentenced in June for charges ranging from drug trafficking to money laundering to conspiracy to commit murder.
While it is certain Guzman will be sentenced to years in jail, it’s not clear which jail he will serve the time in. Considering his crimes, his status as the head of an international drug syndicate and the fact that he has twice escaped prison, where Guzman does his time will have to be one of the most secure prisons in the world.
Some have speculated that Guzman will be sent to a Colorado prison that sits at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
ADX Florence, formally the U.S. Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility, is located near Florence, Colorado, and was opened in 1994.
The facility was designed to hold inmates deemed too dangerous to be housed in any other facility. No one has ever escaped from the facility.
Here’s a look at ADX Florence and what Guzman could face if he is incarcerated there.
Where is ADX Florence?
The super-maximum security prison is located about two hours south of Denver. The cells and fixed furnishings are made of reinforced concrete, and the facility is called the Alcatraz of the Rockies because it is deemed escape-proof.
Prisoners are held in 7- by 12-foot cells for 23 hours a day.
The 37-acre complex holds more than 400 inmates and is secured with razor wire, gun towers, armed patrols and attack dogs. The facility is operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. David Berkebile is the warden.
Where would Guzman be held?
Because of his status and the seriousness of his crimes, Guzman would be held in what is called the Control Unit. Inmates in that unit have no contact with other inmates. They stay in their cells around 23 hours a day. They have all of their meals in the cell. They are given an hour a day to walk into an exercise area that is 10 feet across. They go to the area by themselves, seeing neither guards nor other inmates.
What are their cells like?
ADX cells have solid steel doors with a small slot, plus an interior barred wall with a sliding door, which together with the exterior door forms a sally port in each cell.
Each cell is furnished with a concrete bed with a thin mattress and each inmate is given some blankets.
There is a toilet, a desk and a stool in the cell. There is also a shower. There is a window in each cell that measures 42 inches tall and 4 inches wide.
Guzman would likely have a television in his cell. He can have limited visits with family though no contact is allowed.
How would he be monitored there?
He will also likely be subjected to special measures to monitor and censor any mail, any phone calls -- he could be eligible to get one 15-minute-long monitored call a month -- and all face-to-face visits.
Should Guzman face discipline issues, punishment is harsh. The prison has an area known as Z-Unit or The Black Hole, which can hold up to 148 prisoners in total darkness in soundproof cells. The unit also has a full set of body restraints that are built directly into the concrete bed.
Famous inmates already there
There are several notorious criminals who are housed at ADX Florence, including Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and Oklahoma City bombing accomplice Terry Nichols
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
This Feb. 11, 2004, file photo provided by the Bureau of Prisons shows the Federal Correctional Complex in Florence, Colo. Clockwise from lower left is the minimum security Federal Prison Camp, the high security United States Penitentiary, the maximum security United States Penitentiary and the Federal Correctional Institution. Experts say the drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who will be sentenced on June 25, 2019 for smuggling enormous amounts of narcotics into the U.S and having a hand in dozens of murders, seems the ideal candidate for the federal government's maximum security, "Supermax," prison, also known as ADX for "administrative maximum," a facility so secure, so remote and so austere that it has been called the "Alcatraz of the Rockies.". (Photo: Bureau of Prisons via The Gazette via AP, File)
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