Notorious Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman says his time at New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center is affecting his physical and mental health. According to NBC News, Guzman’s defense attorneys have filed documents asking for El Chapo to be removed from solitary confinement.
El Chapo, who was extradited to the U.S. in January, faces several drug-related charges, including drug trafficking and money laundering. His trial date has not been set.
He usually spends 23 hours out of the day in solitary confinement. He is allowed to spend one hour (on weekdays) to exercise on a treadmill or stationary bike, reports the Washington Post. He does not have access to windows or natural light and the light in his cell is turn on 24 hours a day.
According to CNN, Guzman’s defense attorneys say the 59-year-old wants permission to visit his wife, Emma Coronel. But prosecutors believe El Chapo could use the visits to send messages to the Sinaloa Cartel.
Guzman’s defense attorneys argue the conditions El Chapo is living in have adversely affected his health. In court documents, they described El Chapo’s condition: “He has difficulty breathing and suffers from a sore throat and headaches. He has recently been experiencing auditory hallucinations, complaining of hearing music in his cell even when his radio is turned off.”
“We run a real risk of him going crazy,” said Michael Schneider, one of Guzman’s lawyers, to the Washington Post.