Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has agreed to plead guilty to charges in the United States, but only if he is placed in a medium-security prison, his lawyer said.
In an interview with Mexico’s Radio Formula, Guzman’s lawyer, Jose Refugio Rodriguez, said his client is seeking a "reasonable penalty" to be served in a medium-security prison in the U.S. because of what has been described as poor treatment in the Mexican prison Guzman is currently being held.
Guzman is behind bars at the Altiplano prison — the same jail he escaped from seven months ago — while waiting for the possible extradition solicited by the U.S. government.
Rodriquez previously revealed guards at the maximum-security prison won't let Guzman sleep and wake him up every two hours at night — a practice his attorney likened to "torture."
Guzman’s third wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, also said the notorious drug lord’s health problems have become "a lot worse" because of his lack of sleep.
Speaking for the first time in an exclusive interview with Telemundo last week, the 26-year-old former beauty queen said she is "afraid for his life" and claimed guards at the prison "want to make him pay for his escape."
Mexican authorities say they've formally notified Guzman that arrest warrants from the U.S. are being processed. About a half-dozen U.S. attorneys' offices across the country — including Chicago, San Diego, New York City, New Hampshire, Miami and Texas — have secured indictments against Guzman in his absence over the years.
In Chicago, Guzman has been dubbed "Public Enemy No. 1," and prosecutors say the city is a major hub for Guzman's Sinaloa drug cartel.