Fresh from pleading guilty to distributing child porn and having sex with underage hookers, former Subway pitchmeister Jared Fogle arrived in Colorado a few days ago to begin serving his fifteen-year federal prison sentence.
Why Colorado? Because that's what we do here. We're the top turnkeys, the customary custodians of the cussed, the preferred hosts of the heinous and the hated from around the world. The presence in our fair state of the highest security federal prison in the country, as well as a state supermax that's become a repository for various strains of homegrown psychopaths and serial killers, gives Colorado an impressive lineup of bad actors and deadly companions. Guantanamo Bay, Pelican Bay, even Oz and Shawshank have nothing on us when it comes to housing the depraved and the despicable.
In Fogle's case, his attorneys asked for him to be moved to Colorado so that he could join a sex-offender treatment program at the low-security Federal Correctional Institute Englewood, a program said to be the best of its kind in the federal system. As Michael Roberts noted back in 2012, FCI Englewood has a bit of a rep as a "country club" prison; another of its noted residents is former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, pulling a fourteen-year stretch on corruption charges. Why Blago is at Englewood isn't entirely clear; perhaps he, too, is getting sex-offender treatment for screwing the electorate.
But Blago and even Fogle don't begin to rival the criminality of the folks found a hundred miles south of Denver, doing hard time in the U.S. Penitentiary Administrative Maximum. The "end of the line" for prisoners deemed to pose a serious risk of escape, violence toward staff or a national security threat, the guest list at ADX reads like a who's who of enemies of the state. Among the most notorious:
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1. International terrorists. Richard Reid, who tried to set off a bomb on a 2001 flight from Paris to Miami — the reason everybody now has to take off their shoes to get through airport security checks — is at ADX. So is underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. And Zacharias Moussaoui, the so-called "twentieth hijacker" who is believed to have warmed the bench during the 9/11 attacks. And Ramzi Yousef, mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that killed six people. And Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. And lots of other former operatives in global terror networks.
2. Domestic terrorists. No longer shacked up in rural Montana, Unabomber Ted Kaczynski calls ADX home. So does Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols (although he has complained about the food). And Eric Rudolph, perpetrator of the 1996 Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta. Proof that you don't have have to be a bona fide member of al Qaeda or ISIS to be batshit crazy.
3. Gang leaders, guerrillas, and narcos. Barry "The Baron" Mills, titular head of the Aryan Brotherhood — a rowdy bunch believed to be responsible for up to one-fourth of all the inmate homicides inside the federal prison system over the past few decades — is serving life in isolation at ADX. So is rival gang leader Larry Hoover, formerly prince of the Gangster Disciples. Simon Trinidad, an enigmatic commander of the Colombian insurgent group FARC (and subject of a recent Westword cover story), has been entombed in ADX, thousands of miles from his supporters, for almost a decade. Fellow Colombian Dandenis Munoz Mosquera is also there, serving multiple life sentences for his deadly work as head of the sicario squads for Pablo Escobar's Medellin cartel. All but unknown in this country, Munoz Mosquera may be directly responsible for more deaths than anyone else in ADX, with the exception of Moussaoui and Mohamed Rashed al-Owhali. But his notoriety recently got a boost on Netflix; he's the guy they call "La Quica" in the hit series Narcos.