Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Osiel Cardenas transfered to top-security Supermax prison

With no explanation, feds transfer Cardenas to top-security Supermax


After reportedly enjoying an array of privileges in U.S. custody, the former head of Mexico's Gulf Cartel is now at the so-called Supermax prison among the nation's most notorious criminals — including terrorists, spies and mobsters — and no one is saying what prompted his change in fortune.

"This is the highest security level," Ed Ross, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, said Monday.

Ross refused to say why Osiel Cardenas Guillen, 43, was transferred to Supermax, which is in Florence, Colo. He was sent there last week from a federal penitentiary in Florida, where he'd been for eight months.

Cardenas was convicted in Houston in 2009 after pleading guilty to an array of drug-trafficking charges. He once held a gold-plated AK-47 to the heads of a Drug Enforcement Administration agent and an FBI agent his henchmen caught in a Mexican border town.

An official who requested his name not be published said most inmates sent to Supermax from other penitentiaries had been deemed too violent and disruptive — or had tried to escape.

Mike Vigil, former director of international operations for the DEA, said Cardenas likely was put in Supermax to keep him from using his wealth and power to try to escape.

"He is not a run-of-the-mill prisoner," Vigil said. "He is an individual with enormous wealth who could generate a prison break or bribe prison guards to get back to Mexico."

Federal prosecutors declined to comment on Cardenas' move , as did each of his four defense attorneys.

His new living arrangements are a step down for Cardenas, who reportedly worked out a plea agreement that gave him several privileges in U.S. custody — and will make him a free man no later than 2024.

One-man cells

The 460 inmates at the Supermax facility in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains are locked in one-man cells with double doors.

They eat, shower and sleep in those vaultlike cells. They are let out 10 hours a week to exercise by themselves in slightly larger cages.

Other inmates there include "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski, 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and former FBI agent Robert Hanssen, who is serving a life sentence for espionage.

Also locked up in Supermax is the godfather of Cardenas' Gulf Cartel, Juan Garcia Abrego, who was convicted in Houston in 1996 and is serving multiple life sentences.

Mitchel P. Roth, criminal justice professor at Sam Houston State University, said the Supermax prison is a Spartan place where prisoners are by themselves the entire time.

"Everyone is treated like the most dangerous prisoner around," he said. "You have a lot of very charismatic individuals in the Supermax prison. It is very dangerous to have that kind of prisoner in a general population because of the influence they wield."

Violent nature

Cardenas' prosecution was largely secret. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced behind locked, guarded doors at the federal courthouse in downtown Houston.
The proceedings were sealed from the public for security reasons, officials later said.

Cardenas is best known for being violent and for creating the Zetas enforcement squad, which was initially made up of Mexican military deserters who worked for his Gulf Cartel.

When he was extradited from Mexico to Houston in 2007, the Zetas rapidly became their own criminal gang and introduced beheadings and other extreme brutality in their fight against rival traffickers and government security forces.

Since Cardenas has been in U.S. custody, the Zetas have emerged as the Gulf Cartel's most bitter rival.

Prior to the Florida penitentiary, Cardenas was briefly in a medium-security prison in Atlanta, where prisoners can walk to meals, the library and recreation time.

Additional note of interest: Court faults judge over media access: Locking public out of trafficker's sentencing illegal


  1. Reporter 'Dane' of the Houston Chronicle sure finds it hard to tell us the true reasons why Osiel Cardenas was sent to Florence. Florence is where the US government sends people they want to torture via use of sensory deprivation.

    'He once held a gold-plated AK-47 to the heads of a Drug Enforcement Administration agent and an FBI agent his henchmen caught in a Mexican border town.'

    Let's be honest here. The people running around these days telling us that they are supposedly law enforcement saints are the exact same people occupying other peoples' countries while waving Bibles and Old Glories, using torture and political assassinations of people they don't like (and often taking out against innocent victims). and that are destroying the standard of living of working people in this country by siphoning off gargantuan amounts of public tax paid funds to the ...uh..'national security' agencies and armies and corporations.

    How dare this small time thug, Senor Osiel, try to get some of the action for himself! How dare he!

  2. This fucker DFL always makes me laugh with his comments not because he's funny but I picture him in a basement in his chonis semi crazy always talking to himself and chuckling. It could be he got moved to Supermax cause he must have been calling shots behind bars. It'd be interesting to know what that plea agreement he had entailed exactly.

  3. enoy supermax puto. They call it a clean version of hell for a reason. lol. Adios mutherfucker.

  4. Yep, you are absolutely right, he was moved because of his telephone conversations from prison to his henchman. His calls were being monitored and he was making key decisions with regards to the Gulf Cartel's actions. The prison officials became suspicious because of his outrageous phone bills. It would be a great embarrassment to the U.S. government if they confirmed that he was still running the Gulf Cartel from prison. As far as, his plea agreement, who really knows what was worked out..I'd venture to say he was basically caught playing both sides..the Unites States government and providing information with regards to his Cartel's practices, along with his rivals..the Zetas.

  5. @Ardent,

    Actually, the story behind Cardenas, along with several of his henchman cornering two U.S. Federal Agents and a Confidential Informant is well documented. The incident actually accelerated his down fall. Cardenas was demanding they (U.S. Agents) turn the C.I. over to him, they refused and informed him, if any harm be felled them, he would be hunted down for life! The tactic worked because Cardenas let them go. Those agents saved that C.I.'s life, who was surely destined for a gruesome death. Yet, your comment seems to support the innocence of this human scum, who BTW basically is responsible for the creation of the Zetas.

  6. @11:55 AM EL NAYALOENSE
    Whats wrong with you. Your mama could'nt come up with a human name for you so they named you a thing "El"
    It seems that it really hurts your feelings when these pussy thugs are called bad names. Don't worry it won't interrupt your supplies, the kids that you sell your dope to will always get some somewhere. I know that its very painful for you when the right side of the law wins and one of your Heros goes down, but look at it this way. It gives you a new pen pal that you can write to and another prisoner that you can dream about.
    Poor you. I will be more careful to not say bad things about your dope dealing heros. LOLOl!!!

  7. Ardent said...
    Reporter 'Dane' of the Houston Chronicle sure finds it hard to tell us the true reasons why Osiel Cardenas was sent to Florence. Florence is where the US government sends people they want to torture via use of sensory deprivation.

    You come up with a lot of BS, Florance Prison is in Colorado and is a max prison and no torture goes on by the Government.

    Your paranoid rants about Right wing this and right wing that is getting really old, so why not concern yourself with the problems at hand instead of making unfounded accusations ?.

  8. This goose is cooked...

  9. The Gulf Cartel leadership would be taking direction from someone who provided information on them? A documented informant? Stranger things have happened, I guess.

  10. it's crazy. decriminalize drugs and suddenly the western hemisphere would be as safe and disneyland-ish as western europe. the only business left for the gangs would be kidnapping and i guess prostitution.

    drug use is a medical and a social problem, it has nothing to do with crime, except that prohibiting it creates a huge black market, pays for half the cops and prosecutors and prison guards and parole officers on the planet, and their allies, the drug smugglers and drug sellers and the growers, the whole industry is in a symbiotic relationship with law enforcement and politicians.

    you could argue that the war on drugs is really a form of state sponsored capitalism. the sad thing is the war itself destroys so many lives. but it does pay for a lot of cops and criminals who would otherwise not be employable

  11. has anyone ever noticed that the cartel leaders usually look light skinned (beltran, chapo, osiel, arrellano)? maybe i'm wrong, just an observation.

  12. @Ardent

    I hope the government get to you and send you to Florence for some torture via use of sensory deprivation.


  13. Yes cartel leaders always have white features while the dude who looks like you picked up in the parking lot at home depot is always the sucker who pays with this life to make sure the big dog stays rich.

  14. everyone skin gets lighter in prison

  15. Where are the "homeboys" bragging on a small sentence? US is LIFE. in a cell. in the dark or the light if they choose. Dude just got bent over and given 13 stripes with no grease. Tell me how that bologna works out for you.

  16. 'Those agents saved that C.I.'s life, who was surely destined for a gruesome death. Yet, your comment, (Ardent), seems to support the innocence of this human scum, who BTW basically is responsible for the creation of the Zetas.

    No, being against use of sensory deprivation torture in US prisons in no way is saying that I think this one prisoner is actually innocent of any of those charges against him, Anonymous.

  17. No te preocupes Oziel en doce inviernos vas andar dando la vuelta en Moros! Te traes a Juan Villarreal para que toque pura musica bastarda pa que se oiga hasta San Fernando, Tamps!

  18. Hihihihihiihi EL r1 va ir a sacarlo de la supermax,

  19. The thing about all these drug criminals is they think they can outsmart everyone and none of the rules apply to them. When you are in US federal prison you belong to them - body and soul. He fucked up, again, so they carefully documented his behavior and then slapped him in supermax. Solitary 24/7, no privileges, cuffs and leg chains every time you leave the cell, all mail and phone calls monitored. Nothing to do but trade kites with Crazy Ted.

  20. Esto va para todos lo pendejos que estan hablando mierda del señor Osiel Cardenas Guillen el no es el que constullo a los zetas pinches pendejos el era del cartel del golfo y en matamoros se estan muriendo de hambre porque esta tratando de acabar con el narcotrafico cuando el cartel se encargaba todo mundo comia y habia mucha production en MOROS y Brownsville ahora la economia se termino y se acabo todo el movimiento de dinero no hay trabajos y mucho menos dinero asi que dejensen de hablar tanta mierda bola de pendejos


  22. Dfl you talked a lot of shit if you would be in front of osiel would you be singing the same tune nah you would piss in Ur pants lol so he sold drugs and became rich the c.I.a. has been caught selling drugs too many times the only difference is the u.s. decides who's bad and who isn't the biggest cartel is the u.s. gov. They can do the same thing and get away with it.

  23. Dfl you talk a lot of shit I wonder would you be singing the same tune if you were in front of osiel nah you would piss in Ur pants lol so he sold drugs and became rich the C.I.A. has been caught so many times doing the same thing the only difference is they decide who's a criminal and who isnt if u ask me the biggest cartel is the do whatever they want and get away with it I admire this man from poor he became rich.

  24. He's very scary! I feel safe now that he's in custody!

  25. Hopefully he never getsout.hes a walkin piece of shit believe me.

  26. F#%@ the Cartels! I hope every one of those Assholes rots in a prison cell like this one. Actually, they're probably better off dead.

  27. Laugh all you want now,but do you honestly believe that because hes locked up the drug war will end, there are replacements for all these guys it will never end. The goverment will never win.

  28. En El mundo hay cosas mucho peores. DIOS ES EL UNICO QUE LO PUEDE JUZGAR. PORQUE DE TAL MANERA Amo DIOS al mundo que mando a su unico hijo para que el que en El crea no se pierda mas tenga vida eterna ..DIOS TE AMA Y ESTA CONTIGO siempre...hermanos en CRISTO.

  29. Nos vemos en Valle Hermoso en 12 jefe. Cuidate y que dios te bendiga. In 12 years he will be running shit again you dumbass white idiots! Y arriba el Golfo Putos y que viva Mexico!!!

  30. Osciel the manda saludar Luis Francisco de aca de Moros!!

  31. Just saying i think capturing osciel made thing worse at least he had control when he was at the head of the gulf cartel at least it made it worse for the people living in tamaulipas no days there is no control

  32. He has been released aready ..feds came fore him course they said that he had been transferred to colo supermax which is a lie ... cmon he paid the U.S 50million up front the deal he made to remain free is 50milion dls a month ..

  33. Arriva el.cartel del.golfo pinches pndjos..... Y q no.c olviden kien es su padre.... Ese es el Señor Osiel Cardenas Guillen.....

  34. jr is on his way as well. Osiel the son busted in brownsville crossing

  35. Ahora resulta que tienen k aprovar los comentarios y la libertad de exprecion donde queda


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