Metropolitan Correctional Center, New York
|Location||Manhattan, New York City|
|Security class||Administrative facility|
|Managed by||Federal Bureau of Prisons|
The Metropolitan Correctional Center, New York (MCC New York) is a United States federal administrative prison in Manhattan, New York which holds male and female prisoners of all security levels. It is operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a division of the United States Department of Justice.
Most prisoners held at MCC New York have pending cases in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. MCC New York also holds prisoners serving brief sentences.
The Los Angeles Times stated that the prison is often referred to as the "Guantanamo of New York", and The New York Times stated that its administrative segregation units had severe security measures.
Opened in 1975, MCC New York was the first high-rise facility to be used by the Bureau of Prisons. Prisoners are assigned to ten separate, self-contained housing units, resulting in little movement within the facility. As of 2002 it has been widely reported that MCC New York is severely overcrowded.
Numerous high-profile individuals have been held at MCC New York during court proceedings, including Gambino crime family Bosses John Gotti and Jackie D'Amico, drug kingpin Frank Lucas, Ponzi scheme mastermind Bernard Madoff, terrorists Omar Abdel Rahman and Ramzi Yousef, and weapons trafficker Viktor Bout. In January 2017, after being extradited to the United States, Mexican drug lord Joaquín "el Chapo" Guzmán is housed in the facility.
In an article published on April 5, 2011, Jim Dwyer of the New York Times described the experience of an inmate being transferred from the facility to the federal court across the street: A prisoner going to court from the Metropolitan Correctional Center is presented to federal marshals in the basement of the building. Shackled at the ankles, chained at the waist and cuffed at the hands, the prisoner hop-marches through a tunnel nearly 40 feet (12 meters) below the street. The prisoner and escorts go through channels, or corridors, with electronic doors at each end. These are controlled remotely by officers who watch the journey through cameras. More prominent prisoners, who need to be segregated from the general prison population, are housed in the 10-South wing, which is noted for severely confining conditions.
During this passage from jail to court, no one lays eyes on the prisoner except the marshals and the people in the surveillance stations. Once they have reached the north end of the tunnel, they wait for the prisoner elevator. Inside is a locked cage that the prisoner stands in for the ride up to the courthouse cells.
Notable inmates (current and former)
|Inmate Name||Register Number||Status||Details|
|Abu Anas al-Libi
|Al-Libi died on January 2, 2015 while awaiting trial; al-Fawwaz is serving life in prison at ADX Florence.||High-ranking Al-Qaeda operatives; indicted in 2000 on conspiracy charges stemming from Al Qaeda's 1998 bombings of two US embassies in East Africa, which killed 224 people.|
|Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani||02476-748||Now at ADX Florence||Convicted of offenses related to the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings|
|Ross Ulbricht||18870-111||Transferred to Federal Transfer Center, Oklahoma City in July 2017.||Also known as "Dread Pirate Roberts"; convicted in 2015 of founding and operating the online illegal drug marketplace known as Silk Road.|
|Horst Overdick||91938-054||Currently awaiting trial.||Drug trafficker linked to the Los Zetas Cartel in Mexico; extradited from Guatemala in 2012 to face charges that he directed the shipment of large quantities of cocaine to the US through Guatemala.|
|Franqui Flores||92493-054||Convicted drug trafficker; currently awaiting sentence.||Nephew of Venezuelan First Lady Cilia Flores; arrested in Haiti by the BLTS, extradited and charged with conspiring to import and distribute cocaine in the United States.|
|Joaquín Guzmán||Pending trial ||Known as "El Chapo" Guzmán, who on two prior occasions was able to escape High Security Facilities in Mexico, was recently extradited to the United States. He is accused of being the leader of a drug cartel with thousands of members, whose earnings are estimated to be in the billions. The charge coming out of the United States Court, Eastern District of New York, asserts that he and other members of the Sinaloa Cartel have used hired assassins to carry out murders, kidnappings, and torture.|
- "MCC New York". Federal Bureau of Prisons.
- Demick, Barbara; Patrick J. McDonnell (2017-01-20). "Mexican drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman has a new home: The Guantanamo of New York". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2017-02-05.
- Goldstein, Joseph (2017-01-23). "Manhattan Jail That Holds El Chapo Is Called Tougher Than Guantánamo Bay". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-02-05.
- Bosworth, Mary (2002). The US Federal Prison System. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. p. 272.
- McShane, Larry (13 March 2009). "Inside Bernard Madoff's new home: the Metropolitan Correctional Center prison in Manhattan". Daily News. New York. Retrieved 16 October 2009. (Archive)
- Holmes, Jack (January 23, 2017). "El Chapo's New York Jail Sounds Like Literal Hell". Esquire. Archived from the original on January 27, 2017.
It has held high-profile suspects like John Gotti, Bernie Madoff, and terrorists Omar Abdel Rahman and Ramzi Yousef, along with countless organized crime and terrorism figures. Those notorious types were held in the "10 south wing," for prisoners who need to be segregated from the general population—as Guzman likely will.
- Theoharis, Jeanne (February 25, 2014). "Written Testimony of Professor Jeanne Theoharis For the Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights" (PDF). Center for Constitutional Rights. p. 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 27, 2017.
The isolation in 10 South is severe. Based on information received from some detainees and their lawyers, we understand that suspects spend 23 hours a day in their cells. Detainees shower inside their cells, so that they are literally alone in their cells almost all of the time. They are allowed one hour of recreation out of their cells, which takes place in an indoor solitary recreation cage. Recreation is periodically denied, so detainees can go days without leaving their cells. No outdoor recreation is allowed for detainees in 10 South, and cell windows are frosted. The only fresh air is through a window in the indoor recreation cage.
- Dwyer, Jim (April 5, 2011). "A Passageway for Prisoners, 40 Feet Below". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
- Jomana, Karadsheh (January 3, 2015). "Alleged al Qaeda operative Abu Anas al Libi dies in U.S. hospital, family says". cnn.com. CNN. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
- Weiser, Benjamin (October 15, 2013). "Terror Suspect Caught in Libya Appears in Manhattan Court". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
- Weiser, Benjamin (2010-09-27). "Report Shows Detainee’s Insight Into Legal Process". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-02-05. "Dr. Gregory B. Saathoff, a psychiatry professor at the University of Virginia, saw Mr. Ghailani four times in May and June at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, the jail where he is being held pending trial."
- Richey, Warren (January 25, 2011). "Ahmed Ghailani gets life sentence for Al Qaeda bombing of US embassies". Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on January 31, 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2011.
- Hays, Tom (January 25, 2011). "Gitmo Detainee Gets Life Sentence in Embassy Plot". Associated Press. Retrieved January 26, 2011.
- John (July 25, 2017). "The Jailed Silk Road Owner, Ross Ulbricht Transferred To another Location without Notice". Deep Dot Web. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
The family paid a visit to him, and upon the visit, they realized that their beloved, Ross Ulbricht had been transferred away from the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York. [...] The tweet states that: “Ross called, and I am so happy to hear from him. He’s at OK City Fed’l Transfer Ctr being designated to a prison. He’s in good spirits.”
- "Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht found guilty". CNN Money. Cable News Network. May 29, 2015. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- Hong, Nicole. "Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbricht Sentenced to Life in Prison". The Wall Street Journal. 2015 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- "Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Extradition Of Guatemalan Drug Trafficker Linked To Los Zetas Drug Cartel". US Department of Justice. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
- "Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Extradition Of Guatemalan Drug Trafficker Linked To Los Zetas Drug Cartel". US Department of Justice. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- Hamilton, Keegan (January 20, 2017). "Ready to talk". Vice News.
Bureau of Prisons records do not state where Chapo is currently being held, but the New York Post reports that he arrived Thursday night at a jail in downtown Manhattan, likely the Metropolitan Correctional Center. The highly secure federal facility is known as "Little Gitmo" because it houses many terrorism suspects in isolation while they await trial.
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