ADX Florence

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United States Penitentiary, Administrative Maximum Facility
Florence ADMAX.jpg
ADX Florence is located in Colorado
ADX Florence
Location in Colorado
ADX Florence is located in the United States
ADX Florence
ADX Florence (the United States)
LocationFremont County, near Florence, Colorado
Coordinates38°21′23″N 105°05′43″W / 38.35639°N 105.09528°W / 38.35639; -105.09528Coordinates: 38°21′23″N 105°05′43″W / 38.35639°N 105.09528°W / 38.35639; -105.09528
Security classAdministrative Maximum
Population324 inmates (January 2023)[1][2]
OpenedJanuary 1995
Managed byFederal Bureau of Prisons
WardenWilliam True

The United States Penitentiary, Administrative Maximum Facility (USP Florence ADMAX), commonly known as ADX Florence, is an American federal prison in Fremont County near Florence, Colorado. It is operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a division of the United States Department of Justice. ADX Florence, which opened in 1994, is classed as a supermax or "control unit" prison, thus providing a higher, more controlled level of custody than a maximum security prison. ADX Florence forms part of the Federal Correctional Complex, Florence (FCC Florence), which is situated on 49 acres (20 hectares) of land and houses different facilities with varying degrees of security, including the United States Penitentiary, Florence High.

ADX Florence was commissioned when the Federal Bureau of Prisons needed a unit designed specifically for the secure housing of those prisoners most capable of extreme violence toward staff or other inmates. As of January 2023, there are a total of 322 inmates housed. They are confined 23 hours per day in single cells with facilities made of poured, reinforced concrete to deter self-harm, and are under 24-hour supervision, carried out intensively with high staff–inmate ratios.


The institution is unofficially known as ADX Florence or "the Alcatraz of the Rockies."[3] It is part of the Federal Correctional Complex, Florence, run by the Federal Bureau of Prisons under the United States Department of Justice. The complex includes a minimum-security camp that, as of February 2019, holds more prisoners than the supermax unit. The number of inmates has declined, and as of 2021, two housing units have closed due to low population.[4] The facility has a capacity of 551 inmates and had a population of 322 inmates as of January 26, 2023.

USP ADX Florence houses male inmates in the federal prison system deemed the most dangerous and in need of the tightest control, including prisoners whose escape would pose a serious threat to national security.

Women classified as a "special management concern" due to violence or escape attempts are confined at Federal Medical Center, Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas.[5]


In 1983, Thomas Silverstein and Clayton Fountain, members of the Aryan Brotherhood, fatally stabbed correctional officers Merle Clutts and Robert Hoffman at the United States Penitentiary, Marion. The stabbings took place only a few hours apart and were blamed on inadequate prison design.[6]

Federal Bureau of Prisons director Norman Carlson proposed a new facility to isolate the most dangerous, uncontrollable inmates for security and safety. Under his leadership, USP Marion was operated in permanent lockdown, serving as a model for ADX as a control unit prison.[7][8] Carlson believed that the prison would hold criminals who were desperate enough to murder corrections officers or other inmates in the hopes of being sentenced to death. He argued that as draconian as these measures were, they were the only way to deal with inmates who have "absolutely no concern for human life".[6]

USP ADX Florence opened on January 10, 1995.[9] The county already had nine prisons, but the lure of 750 to 900 permanent jobs (plus temporary jobs during the prison's construction) led residents to raise $160,000 to purchase 600 acres (240 ha) for the new prison. Hundreds of people attended the groundbreaking for the facility, which was designed by two leading architecture firms in Colorado Springs and cost $60 million to build.[10]

Inmate population[edit]

The supermax unit at USP ADX Florence houses 324 male inmates as of March 8, 2023,[11] each assigned to one of six security levels.[12] It is designed for 490 inmates but has never been at full capacity.[13]

The facility is best known for housing inmates who have been deemed too dangerous, too high-profile, or too great a security risk for even maximum-security prisons. For example, Joseph Romano was sentenced to life in federal prison for plotting to murder the judge and federal prosecutor who helped sentence him to 15 years in prison for masterminding a coin fraud operation. While in prison, he plotted to murder an undercover officer who had taken part in the investigation. When this came to light, Romano was transferred to USP ADX Florence.[14]

The majority of current inmates, however, have been placed there because each has an extensive history in other prisons of committing violent crimes, including murder, against corrections officers and fellow inmates. These inmates are kept in administrative segregation. They are confined in a single-person cell for 23 hours a day. During their hour outside the cell, which can occur at any time of day or night, they are kept under restraint (handcuffed, shackled, or both). The hour outside of the cell is for exercise and a phone call if they have earned the privilege. Their diet is restricted to ensure that the food cannot be used to harm themselves or to create unhygienic conditions in their cell. Some cells have showers which further reduces the amount of handling of inmates that correctional officers have to perform.[13]

After at least one year, depending on their conduct, inmates are gradually allowed out for longer periods. The long-term goal is to keep them at USP ADX Florence for no more than three years and then to transfer them to a less restrictive prison to serve the remainder of their sentences. According to a 1998 report in the San Francisco Chronicle, USP ADX Florence's main purpose is to "try and extract reasonably peaceful behavior from extremely violent career prisoners".[15]

One cell block at Florence was once known as "Bombers Row" because five notable terrorists, four of whom are/were domestic terrorists, were held there: Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols, Ramzi Yousef, Eric Rudolph, and Ted Kaczynski.[16]

Despite the extreme security measures to deter disruptive, violent, and dangerous behavior among inmates, there have been murders at ADX. Silvestre Rivera and Richard Santiago were both charged with the first degree murder of Manuel Torres, a high-level member of the Mexican Mafia. Left alone with no guard supervision in the prison yard on the morning of April 21, 2005, Rivera and Santiago were videotaped brutally beating and stomping Torres to death. Rivera pled not guilty due to self-defense. Prosecutors intended to seek the death penalty against Rivera and Santiago, but they were both given life sentences for the murders. Today, Santiago remains incarcerated at ADX, while Rivera is currently serving his life sentence in USP Hazleton.[17]

In January 2021, a British judge ruled that Julian Assange could not be extradited to the US on the grounds that Assange would likely be housed at ADX, where there was a high risk he would commit suicide due to the conditions at the facility.[18] This ruling was later overturned on appeal in December 2021.[19]

Prison facility[edit]

Design of a cell at USP ADX Florence
Artist's view of the cell

ADX Florence is a 37-acre (15 ha) complex located at 5880 Highway 67, in an unincorporated area,[20] with a Florence, Colorado, postal address. It is located about 100 miles (160 km) south of Denver and 40 miles (64 km) south of Colorado Springs.[21] It is part of the Federal Correctional Complex, Florence (FCC Florence) which consists of three correctional facilities, each with a different security rating.[22]

The majority of the facility is above ground, with the exception of a subterranean corridor that links cellblocks to the lobby. Each cell contains a desk, stool, and bed, constructed almost entirely of poured concrete, as well as a toilet that shuts off if blocked, a shower that runs on a timer to prevent flooding, and a sink lacking a potentially dangerous tap. Rooms may also be fitted with polished steel mirrors bolted to the wall, an electric light that can be shut off only remotely, a radio, and a television that shows recreational, educational, and religious programming.[23]

The 4-inch-by-4-foot (10 cm × 1.2 m) windows are designed to prevent inmates from knowing their specific location within the complex. They can see only the sky and roof through them, so it is virtually impossible to plan an escape. Inmates exercise in a concrete pit resembling an empty swimming pool, also designed to prevent them from knowing their location in the facility.[24] The pit is large enough only for a prisoner to walk ten steps in a straight line or thirty-one steps in a circle. Correctional officers generally deliver food to the cells. Inmates transferred to USP ADX Florence from other prisons may be allowed to eat in a shared dining room.[15]

The prison as a whole contains a multitude of motion detectors, cameras, and 1,400 remote-controlled steel doors. Officers in the prison's control center monitor inmates twenty-four hours a day and can activate a "panic button", which immediately closes every door in the facility, should an escape attempt be suspected. Pressure pads and 12-foot (3.7 m) razor-wire fences surround the perimeter, which is patrolled by heavily armed officers.

The facility houses inmates at six differing security levels: General Population Units ("Delta", "Echo", "Fox", and "Golf" Units), the Special Housing Unit (SHU), the Special Security Unit ("H" Unit), the Control Unit, Intermediate/Transitional Units ("Kilo" and "Joker" Units), and Range 13.[25] Many of the security levels at ADX have special purposes or missions for the inmates who occupy them. The Control Unit houses inmates who have committed serious conduct violations or acts of violence at other institutions. It also houses high-level members of organizations deemed as threats, such as prison gangs. "H" Unit houses inmates who are members of terror groups so designated by the Department of Justice or who have had special administrative measures (SAMs) placed on them.[26] Range 13 is a special four-cell wing within the Special Housing Unit for inmates in need of the tightest control. As of 2022, the only inmates publicly known to have been incarcerated in this unit are Thomas Silverstein and Ramzi Yousef.[27] The two Intermediate Units house "step-down" inmates, who can earn transfer to another institution if they remain incident free while housed in the unit. This is the only unit in ADX where inmates secure themselves in their own cells, can walk freely in their range, and associate with other inmates. From there, inmates will typically be transferred to the supermax step-down unit in USP Florence High.[28]

The Bureau of Prisons allowed the media to take a guided tour of USP ADX Florence on September 14, 2007. Attending reporters remarked on "an astonishing and eerie quiet" within the prison, as well as a sense of safety due to the rigorous security measures.[29] 60 Minutes producer Henry Schuster said: "A few minutes inside that cell and two hours inside Supermax were enough to remind me why I left high school a year early. The walls close in very fast."[30]

The prison has received far less criticism than comparable facilities at the state level (such as California's Pelican Bay State Prison) which tend to suffer from over-population, low staff-to-inmate ratios, and security issues. Jamie Fellner of Human Rights Watch said after a tour of the facility in 1998, "The Bureau of Prisons has taken a harsh punitive model and implemented it as well as anybody I know."[15]


In 2012, eleven inmates filed a federal class-action suit against the Bureau of Prisons in Cunningham v. Federal Bureau of Prisons.[31][32] The suit alleged chronic abuse and failure to properly diagnose prisoners who are seriously mentally ill. At the time of the lawsuit, at least six inmates had allegedly died by suicide; a seventh did so after the original lawsuit was filed, and an amended filing added him to the case.[33]

Critics claim that the use of extended confinement in solitary cells adversely affects prisoners' mental health; numerous studies support this conclusion.[citation needed] As of March 2015, settlement negotiations were underway with the help of a federal magistrate. Some changes have already been made by the Bureau of Prisons.[34][35]

Prisoners held in Unit H are subject to special administrative measures that prevent them from communicating with journalists or privately with their own lawyers or family members.[36][37]

In 2020, a British magistrate refused to extradite Julian Assange to the United States on espionage charges in part because he would possibly be subjected to solitary confinement and special administrative measures at ADX. On July 7, 2021, the High Court of Justice for England and Wales agreed to allow the United States to appeal this decision with the understanding that Assange "will not be subject to SAMs or imprisoned at ADX" if he is extradited.[38]

Suicides at the prison[edit]

At least eight inmates have died, or are suspected of having died, by suicide at the facility.

Inmate Register number Date of death Age Details Ref
Kevin Lee Wilson 57468-097 June 17, 1999 37 Bank robber from Glendale, California who was serving an 802-month sentence for multiple counts of armed bank robbery, carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, and felon in possession of a firearm.
Gregory Britt 12546-083 December 9, 1999 43 Inmate who was serving a life sentence for the murder of a fellow inmate at the Lorton Correctional Complex in Lorton, Virginia on June 19, 1983.[39]
Lawrence Klaker Unlisted November 18, 2002 45 Received a life sentence plus 5 years in 1986 for escaping a jail in New Orleans city jail then kidnapping a school teacher in Alabama. Would later become an enforcer for the Aryan Brotherhood in federal prison.[40]
Lance Vanderstappen 11099-081 April 17, 2006 26 Member of the Soldiers of Aryan Culture who was serving a 25-year sentence for various violent assaults in prison, including stabbing a fellow inmate in a courthouse holding cell.[41]
John Frierson 99917-555 May 27, 2008 35 Serving four life sentences issued by the State of Mississippi after he went on a shooting rampage at the age of 17 that killed his grandparents, brother, and aunt.[42]
Jose Martin Vega 45189-053 May 1, 2010 35 Gang member from New York serving four life sentences plus 190 years for multiple counts of racketeering and armed drug trafficking.[43] [44]
Robert Gerald Knott 17508-086 September 7, 2013 48 Received a life sentence after carrying out a nine day crime-spree across multiple states that included several kidnappings and resulted in the death of a hostage and his accomplice in 1988.[45] [46]
Jamie Jarold McMahan 05327-030 November 13, 2017 42 Sentenced to life in prison alongside his step-brother, Christopher Kauffman, after they committed a meth-induced rampage that included two homicides and a bank robbery in Oskaloosa, Iowa, before fleeing with two women to Florida.[47] [48]

Notable current inmates[edit]

Foreign terrorists[edit]

This list contains foreign citizens who committed or attempted to commit terrorist attacks against United States citizens and interests. All sentences are without parole.

Inmate name Register number Photo Citizenship Status Details
Zacarias Moussaoui 51427-054 Zacarias Moussaoui.jpg  France Serving 6 life sentences. French citizen and Al-Qaeda operative, pleaded guilty to terrorism conspiracy charges in 2005 for playing a key role in planning the September 11 attacks by helping the hijackers obtain flight lessons, money and material used in the attacks.[49]
Ramzi Yousef 03911-000 Ramzi Yousef.gif  Pakistan Serving life plus 240 years. Convicted in 1994 of terrorism conspiracy and other charges in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed 6 people and injured more than 1,000. Yousef was also convicted in 1996 of planning Project Bojinka, a foiled plot conceived by senior Al-Qaeda member Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to bomb twelve planes in a 48-hour period.[50]
Khalfan Mohamed 44623-054 Khalfan Khamis Mohamed.webp  Tanzania Serving a life sentence. An Al-Qaeda operative from Tanzania; convicted in connection with the 1998 United States embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, Africa, which were conceived by Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden; the bombings killed 224 people and injured more than 4,000.[51][52][53][54]
Abu Hamza al-Masri 67495-054 Abu Hamza al-Masri mugshot.jpg  Egypt Serving a life sentence under the name Kamel Mostafa Mostafa. Egyptian cleric and former associate of the late Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden; extradited from the UK in 2012; convicted in 2014 of masterminding the 1998 kidnapping of Westerners in Yemen and conspiring to establish a terrorist training camp in Oregon in 1999.[55]
Richard Reid 24079-038  United Kingdom Serving 3 life sentences plus 110 years. British national who became an Al-Qaeda operative; pleaded guilty in 2002 to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction in connection with his 2001 attempt to detonate explosive devices hidden in his shoes on a plane traveling from Paris to Miami; known as the "Shoe Bomber".[56]
Umar Abdulmutallab 44107-039 UmarFarouk.jpg  Nigeria Serving 4 life sentences plus 50 years. A Nigerian national and Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula operative, follower of the late militant cleric Anwar al-Awlaki; pleaded guilty in 2011 to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction for trying to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day 2009. He was nicknamed the "Underwear Bomber" as the bomb was sewn into his underwear.[57]
Ahmed Ressam 29638-086 Ahmed Ressam.jpg  Algeria Serving a 37-year sentence; scheduled for release on July 1, 2032.[58] Algerian national convicted in 2001 of terrorism conspiracy for planning to bomb Los Angeles International Airport on December 31, 1999, in what is known as one of the 2000 millennium attack plots.[59][60]
Simón Trinidad 27896-016  Colombia Serving a 60-year sentence under the name Juvenal Ovidio Palmera Pineda; scheduled for release on February 17, 2055. Member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a guerrilla group on the U.S. State Department list of Terrorist Organizations; convicted in 2007 of terrorism conspiracy for his involvement in the 2003 kidnapping of three American military contractors.[61][62][63]
Sulaiman Abu Ghaith 91969-054  Kuwait Serving a life sentence. Al-Qaeda spokesman and son-in-law to Osama Bin Laden. Convicted in March 2014 for conspiring to kill Americans and providing material support to terrorists.[64]
Mamdouh Mahmud Salim 42426-054 Mamdouh Mahmud Salim.jpg  Sudan Serving a life sentence. Al-Qaeda co-founder and advisor to Osama Bin Laden. Extradited in 1998 for participating in the U.S. Embassy bombings and sentenced to life in prison for attempted murder during an escape attempt in 2000.[65]
Mahmud Abouhalima 28064-054 Mahmud Abouhalima  Egypt Serving a 1300-month sentence (shortened from 240 years); scheduled for release in 2060. Egyptian terrorist who was one of the men convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. In 1988 he traveled to Afghanistan to receive combat training. He also assisted El Sayyid Nosair in the assassination of far-right rabbi Meir Kahane, acting as the getaway driver.
Mohammed Jabarah 06909-091  Canada Serving a life sentence. Canadian citizen convicted of plotting to bomb U.S. embassies in Singapore and the Philippines, he was turned over to U.S. authorities after agreeing to assist them with terror investigations. He was sentenced to life in federal prison in 2008 as a result of violating the terms of his release.[66]
Amor Ftouhi 55707-039  Canada
Serving a life sentence. Perpetrator of the Bishop International Airport attack in Flint, Michigan in 2017, during which he stabbed an Airport Police Lieutenant in the neck; convicted in 2018 of committing an act of terrorism transcending national boundaries.[67]
Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy 75868-054  Canada Serving a 40-year sentence; scheduled for release on May 11, 2051. Plotted to carry out bombing attacks at Times Square and on the New York City Subway. Convicted of material support and conspiracy to commit terror acts transcending national boundaries in 2016 and sentenced to 40 years in federal prison in 2018.[68] El Bahnasawy was sent to ADX after he committed the stabbing of corrections officer Dale Franquet Jr at United States Penitentiary, Allenwood on December 7, 2020. Franquet lost an eye in the attack.[69]
Mohamed Rashed Daoud Al-Owhali 42371-054  United Kingdom
 Saudi Arabia
Serving a life sentence. Al-Qaeda operative; convicted of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, in relation to his role in the 1998 United States embassy bombings in Nairobi, Kenya. Sentenced to life in prison in 2001. Transferred to ADX in February 2022 from Marion CMU.[70][71]
Akayed Ullah 79827-054[permanent dead link] Akayed Ullah.png  Bangladesh Serving a life sentence plus 30 years. Bangladeshi national who partially detonated a pipe bomb in the Times Square–42nd Street/Port Authority Bus Terminal station of the New York City Subway. The blast injured 3 bystanders and the perpetrator. Ullah was convicted of possessing a criminal weapon, making terroristic threats and supporting an act of terrorism in 2018 and sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years in 2021.[72][73]
Ahmed Abu Khattala 33405-016  Libya Serving a 22-year sentence; scheduled for release on March 14, 2033. Libyan national and leader of Ansar al-Sharia, led the Benghazi attacks against two United States government facilities in September 2012. Ansar al-Sharia members attacked a diplomatic compound on September 11, 2012 that resulted in the deaths of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens, and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith. Additionally, a mortar attack was carried out against a CIA annex that resulted in the death of two more U.S. diplomats. Abu Khatalla was convicted of conspiracy to provide material support for terrorism, maliciously destroying and injuring dwellings and property as well as using and carrying a semi-automatic weapon during a crime of violence. Another participant in the attack, Mustafa Al-Imam was also charged and convicted of offences related to the attack and was sentenced to 19 years in prison in 2020.[74][75][76]
Irek Ilgiz Hamidullin 84991-083 Irek Hamidullin.jpg  Russia Serving a life sentence plus 30 years. A former member of the Russian army, Hamidullin eventually traveled to Afghanistan where he was discovered fighting for the Taliban after he led insurgents to attack Camp Leyza, a military installation where U.S. and Afghan forces were stationed. Hamidullin was held in extrajudicial detention before being tried in federal court where he was convicted on 15 counts including material support, attempted murder of U.S. military personnel, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and possession of a firearm in connection with a crime of violence.[77][78]
Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Harun 81678-053 Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Harun - U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York.jpg  Niger Serving a life sentence. Al-Qaeda operative from Niger who was convicted of conspiracy to murder American military personnel in Afghanistan, conspiracy to bomb the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, and providing material support to terror organization. Harun was recruited into Al-Qaeda in the weeks before the September 11 attacks and travelled to Afghanistan to train Al-Qaeda camps. Harun was one of several Al-Qaeda soldiers to ambush a U.S. military patrol on April 25, 2003, killing servicemen Jerod Dennis and Raymond Losano. Harun was also ordered to commit a bombing attack against the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria by Al-Qaeda leaders. Harun was sentenced to life in prison in February 2018.[79][80]
El Shafee Elsheikh 11698-509  Sudan Serving 8 life sentences. Former British citizen was given 8 life sentences without the possibility of parole in August 2022 for charges of conspiracy to commit murder, lethal hostage taking, and material support. These charges stemmed from participating in the beheadings of four Americans while an active member of the Islamic State. Elsheikh was one of the four British members of what was known as the "ISIS Beatles". Another member of this group, Alexanda Kotey was also given a life sentence in federal court and is currently serving his sentence at USP Canaan.[81][82]

Domestic terrorists[edit]

This list contains U.S. citizens, regardless of origin, who committed or attempted to commit terrorist attacks against United States citizens and interests.

Inmate name Register number Photo Status Details
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev 95079-038 Archived July 2, 2019, at the Wayback Machine Dzhojar Tsárnayev.jpg Originally sentenced to death on June 24, 2015. Sentence overturned by a federal appeals court on July 31, 2020,[83] but re-imposed by Supreme Court on March 4, 2022.[84] Dzhokhar planted a pressure cooker bomb at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, killing 3 people and injuring over 250. He was sentenced to death. He was to be transferred to USP Terre Haute in Indiana when his execution date was set, but the death sentence was vacated in July 2020 due to inadequate screening for potential biases among jury pool. The death sentence was re-imposed by the Supreme Court of the United States on March 4, 2022.
Wadih el-Hage 42393-054 Serving a life sentence. Convicted in connection with the 1998 United States embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, Africa, which were conceived by Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden; the bombings killed 224 people and injured more than 4,000.[51][52][53][54]
Terry Nichols 08157-031 Archived September 19, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Serving 161 consecutive life sentences. Co-conspirator in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, which killed 168 people. Timothy McVeigh, who planned and carried out the bombing, was executed in 2001.[85]
José Padilla 20796-424 Archived September 19, 2012, at the Wayback Machine José Padilla (prisoner).jpg Serving a 21-year sentence; scheduled for release on July 27, 2026.[86][87] Al-Qaeda operative and one of the first U.S. citizens to be designated as an enemy combatant after the September 11 attacks; convicted in 2007 of terrorism conspiracy for traveling overseas to attend an Al-Qaeda training camp and providing material support to terrorists.[88][89]
Eric Rudolph 18282-058 Archived February 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Eric Rudolph (cropped).png Serving 4 consecutive life sentences. Member of the Christian extremist group Army of God; pleaded guilty in 2005 to carrying out four bombings between 1996 and 1998, including the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta; he killed 3 people during the bombing spree.[90][91]
Faisal Shahzad 63510-054 Archived February 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Amd mug faisal-shahzad.jpg Serving a life sentence. Tehrik-i-Taliban operative; pleaded guilty to attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and other charges in connection with the 2010 Times Square car bombing attempt; received explosives training in 2009 from the terrorist organization Tehrik-i-Taliban in Pakistan.[92][93]
Naser Jason Abdo 80882-280[permanent dead link] Naser Jason Abdo - U.S. Army photo.jpg Serving 2 life sentences plus 60 years. U.S. Army private who refused to deploy to Afghanistan and went AWOL; convicted in 2012 of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction for plotting to detonate a bomb in 2011 at a restaurant near Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, when it was filled with soldiers.[94][95]
Muhanad Mahmoud Al Farekh 85795-053 Muhanad Mahmoud Al Farekh from US Attorney's Office.jpg Serving a 45-year sentence; scheduled for release on August 5, 2053. Houston man who was convicted of terrorism-related charges in 2017 after he attended an Al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan. He was charged with material support of terrorism for a planning role in a 2009 attack on Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost. He had reportedly been radicalized by Zarein Ahmedzay, one of the men charged with the 2009 New York City Subway bombing plot.
Tarek Mehanna 05315-748 Serving a 17-year sentence; scheduled for release on August 20, 2024. American pharmacist convicted of conspiracy to provide material support to Al-Qaeda, providing material support to terrorists (and conspiracy to do so), conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country, conspiracy to make false statements to the FBI, and two counts of making false statements. Sentenced to 17 years in federal prison in April 2012.
Ahmad Khan Rahimi 78312-054 Suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami surveillance image.jpg Serving two life sentences. American-Afghan man from Elizabeth, New Jersey, who was convicted in U.S. District Court and New Jersey state court for use of weapons of mass destruction, bombing a place of public use, attempted murder of law enforcement officers and various other charges. On September 17, 2016, Rahimi planted and detonated explosives in Seaside Park, New Jersey, and Manhattan, New York, that injured 35 people. Another explosive was discovered in a backpack in Elizabeth, New Jersey, two days later. After Linden police attempted to apprehend Rahimi, he engaged in a shootout with members of police and shot an officer in the abdomen. Additionally, as a pre-trial detainee at Metropolitan Correctional Center, New York, he was accused of distributing terrorist propaganda and bomb-making instructions to inmates alongside fellow would-be terrorist, Sajmir Alimehmeti. Rahimi was sentenced to life in prison in 2018.[96][97][98]


Inmate name Register number Photo Status Details
Noshir Gowadia 95518-022 Noshir Gowada1.jpg Serving a 32-year sentence; scheduled for release on July 20, 2032. Former engineer for the U.S. Department of Defense and one of the principal designers of the B-2 stealth bomber; convicted in 2011 of using classified information to assist the People's Republic of China in producing cruise missiles with stealth technology.[99]
Robert Hanssen 48551-083 Robert Hanssen.jpg Serving 15 consecutive life sentences. Former senior FBI agent assigned to counterintelligence; pleaded guilty in 2002 to espionage for passing classified information to the Soviet Union and later to Russia over a 20-year period. This was regarded at the time as the worst intelligence disaster in U.S. history. Several undercover U.S. agents were executed based on the leaked information.[100][101]
Walter Myers 29796-016 Kendall Myers (cropped).jpg Serving a life sentence. Former intelligence analyst for the U.S. State Department; pleaded guilty in 2009 to conspiracy to commit espionage for providing classified U.S. national defense information to Cuba over a period of 30 years. His wife, Gwendolyn Myers, was sentenced to 6 years.[102][103]
Harold Nicholson 49535-083 Hjnicholson.jpg Serving a 23-year sentence plus 8 years; scheduled for release on November 26, 2023. Highest-ranking CIA officer to be convicted of espionage; pleaded guilty in 1997 to passing classified information to Russia from 1994 to 1996; pleaded guilty in 2010 to attempting to collect payments from Russian agents for his past espionage activities.[104][105][106]

Organized crime figures[edit]

Inmate name Register number Photo Status Details
James Marcello 99076-012[permanent dead link] James Marcello (surveillance photo).jpg Serving a life sentence. "Front Boss" of the Chicago Outfit; convicted of racketeering, conspiracy for participating in 18 murders, and directing criminal activities including extortion, illegal gambling, loan sharking, and bribery.[107][108]
Luis Felipe 14067-074 Archived February 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Serving life plus 45 years. Leader of the New York chapter of the Latin Kings gang; convicted in 1996 of murder conspiracy and racketeering for running a criminal enterprise whose members engage in murder, assault, armed robbery, and drug trafficking; Felipe is known as "King Blood".[109][110]
Tyler Bingham 03325-091 Archived February 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Serving a life sentence. Aryan Brotherhood prison gang founder; was transferred to ADX in 2006 after being connected to violent gang activities in prison; convicted of murder, murder conspiracy, and racketeering for ordering the killing of two inmates at USP Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.[111][112]
Larry Hoover 86063-024 Archived February 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Serving 6 life sentences. Leader of the Gangster Disciples in Chicago; sentenced to life in state prison in 1973 for murder; convicted in 1997 of drug conspiracy, extortion, money laundering, and running a continuing criminal enterprise for leading the gang from state prison.[113][114]
Jeff Fort 92298-024 Archived February 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Serving a 68-year sentence; scheduled for release on October 14, 2044. Founder of the El-Rukn (Black P. Stones) gang in Chicago; convicted of drug trafficking in 1983; convicted of terrorism conspiracy in 1987 for plotting to commit attacks inside the U.S. in exchange for weapons and $2.5 million from Libya.[115][116]
O. G. Mack 30063-037 Archived February 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Serving a 50-year sentence under his legal name of Omar Portee; scheduled for release on March 3, 2044. Founder of the United Blood Nation gang; convicted in 2002 of racketeering and murder conspiracy, as well as narcotics and weapons charges.[117]
Kaboni Savage 58232-066[permanent dead link] Sentenced to death on June 3, 2013; awaiting execution.[118] Philadelphia drug kingpin; convicted in 2013 of 12 counts of murder in aid of racketeering for ordering six drug-related homicides, as well as fire bombing the home of a federal witness, which killed two adults and four children.[119][120] He will be transferred to United States Penitentiary, Terre Haute in Indiana when an execution date is set.
Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán 89914-053
Serving life plus 30 years. Former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel. Guzmán was extradited from Mexico to the United States in January 2017, where he pleaded not guilty to all counts in Brooklyn, New York.[121] His charges included drug trafficking, money laundering, and murder. His defense asserted that he was not the organized crime leader that the prosecution claimed. The trial, often characterized as a trial of the century, began on November 5, 2018, and lasted until February 12, 2019, when the jury found him guilty of all counts. He was sentenced on July 17, 2019, to life imprisonment without parole.
Alfredo "El Mochomo" Beltrán-Leyva 58525-007 Alfredo BELTRAN LEYVA.jpg Serving a life sentence plus 50 years. Cousin and former business partner of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, Beltran Leyva was the leader of the Beltran-Leyva Organization that operated out of Sinaloa, Mexico. Between the 1990s and 2000s, Beltran Leyva was responsible for the wholesale shipment of cocaine and methamphetamine between the United States, Mexico, and South America. On November 15, 2014, Beltran Leyva was extradited to the United States to face trial for shipping at least 27.9 tons of narcotics into the US. On February 23, 2016, Beltran Leyva pled guilty to charges of international narcotics trafficking conspiracy and was sentenced to life imprisonment plus 50 years in 2017. Beltran Leyva was also ordered to forfeit US$529 million in profits made from his organization.[122][123]
Peter "Pistol Pete" Rollock 12874-058 Serving a life sentence. Peter Rollock also known as "Pistol Pete" was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 2000 for six murders he committed while operating the Sex Money Murda (S.M.M.) street gang in the Bronx, New York. The S.M.M. gang became one of the largest street gangs involved in drug-trafficking in the New York area during the mid-1990s.[124][125]

Other crimes[edit]

Inmate name Register number Photo Status Details
Dwight York 17911-054 Archived February 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Serving a 135-year sentence Founder and leader of the Nuwaubian Nation, a black supremacist cult. Convicted in 2004 of child molestation, racketeering and conspiracy, and fraud.[126][127]
Jessie Con-ui 04287-748 Jessie Con-ui.jpg Serving a life sentence. Already jailed for life for killing a gang rival in Arizona, Con-ui was identified as the suspect in the murder of corrections officer Eric Williams at United States Penitentiary, Canaan.
Michael Swango 08352-424 Serving 3 consecutive life sentences. Physician and serial killer; pleaded guilty in 2000 to fatally poisoning four patients; has been linked to scores of other deaths.[128][129] Sent to ADX at his own request due to safety concerns.[130]
Paul Bergrin 16235-050 Serving a life sentence. Attorney convicted of conspiracy to murder a witness and racketeering, cocaine, and prostitution offenses.[131]
Kevin M. Bellinger 03532-007 Serving a life sentence. Transferred to ADX after he and a co-defendant, Patrick Andrews, murdered inmate Jesse Harris at United States Penitentiary, Hazelton in October 2007. After a long and complex investigation, both men were sentenced to life in prison on October 8, 2014. Andrews is currently serving his sentence at USP Florence - High.[132]
John Travis Millner 32011-007 Serving two life sentences plus 25 years. Transferred to ADX from USP Big Sandy after stabbing fellow inmate Vincent Earl Smith, Jr. with a prison-made ice pick before strangling him to death in January 2009. Millner has had a long history of violence including a 25-year sentence for stabbing an inmate 27 times at USP Lee, and was already serving a life sentence for shooting and killing a person using a high-powered rifle on New Year's Eve 2002.[133]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]