FLORENCE – There is a good chance Mexican drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman will be headed to the federal Super Max prison in Florence, Colorado after he is sentenced later this year. Many who are familiar with federal prison facilities say the facility in southern Colorado is the country’s most secure prison, which makes it the likely destination for El Chapo
Locals in Florence typically hear about who is inside the prison on the news or through the grapevine. “We just walked in and saw the clip on TV and this was the first time that we even discussed it,” said Florence Resident, Char Bowles. They say for them it is a curiosity and not much of a concern, “We’re a home of many, many prisons in Fremont County. So Super Max is just one of many,” said Florence Resident, Paula Svincek. State and federal prisons are the largest contributor to the local economy.
Notorious criminals are common at the Super Max prison in Florence. The Unabomer, conspirators in the World Trade Center bombings, and the Boston Marathon bombings are held at the facility.
A few locals have minor concerns around publicity speculating on the possibility of El Chapo escaping. “We kind of wish it wasn’t advertised as much or promoted as being escape proof because it’s like a challenge.” Guzman escaped twice from prisons in Mexico.
The facility in Florence is considered the most secure prison in the country, but you won’t hear wardens or people who work there, use the term “escape proof” There has never been an escape and they do not take that for granted.