El Chapo Disappeared for Two Days. Now He’s at the Supermax.

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Throughout his long and bloody career, the drug kingpin known as El Chapo has proved to be a master of escape, breaking out of two Mexican prisons to continue his reign leading the Sinaloa cartel.

Within hours of being sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday, the notorious Mexican crime lord, Joaquín Guzmán Loera, was whisked away from a federal jail in Manhattan and transferred to an undisclosed location, his lawyers said.

Mr. Guzman’s whereabouts remained a mystery for two days, even for his lawyers. But late Friday afternoon, the Bureau of Prisons confirmed that Mr. Guzmán had been taken to the nation’s most forbidding federal prison, the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility, or ADX, in Florence, Colo.

The intense secrecy surrounding Mr. Guzmán’s transfer to another prison reflected the anxiety over his Houdini-like ability to engineer escapes in the past and the deep financial resources at the disposal of the cartel. (Prosecutors say a “conservative” estimate of Mr. Guzmán’s career earnings is about $12.7 billion.)

Mr. Guzmán had been last seen being escorted from Federal District Court in Brooklyn by United States marshals at about 10:20 a.m. on Wednesday, after Judge Brian M. Cogan sentenced him to life in prison plus 30 years on murder, drug and money laundering charges.

Hours later, one of his lawyers, Mariel Colón Miró, attempted to visit Mr. Guzmán at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, where he was taken in 2017 after being extradited from Mexico, and was told he was no longer in custody of the jail, she said.

When Ms. Colón contacted the jail, she was told that Mr. Guzmán had been taken to an airport for transport elsewhere, Ms. Colón said.

A spokeswoman at the Metropolitan Correctional Center would not say on Thursday if Mr. Guzmán was still in its custody, and said she could not locate records of his whereabouts. A spokesman for the United States attorney’s office in Brooklyn also declined to say where Mr. Guzmán had been taken, stating that the information was classified.

Information about Mr. Guzmán’s location also was not available on the federal Bureau of Prisons website on Thursday, and the bureau said it could not reveal Mr. Guzmán’s location until he had arrived at a facility.

Where Mr. Guzmán slept on Wednesday and Thursday and how he was transported to Colorado remain an official secret. Flight records suggest a jet belonging to a company that often provides services to the United States government left La Guardia Airport at 3:37 a.m. Friday and landed three and a half hours later in Pueblo, Colo., about 40 miles from the prison.

Jeffrey Lichtman, one of Mr. Guzmán’s lawyers, said that while he assumed the secrecy had been for “security purposes,” even now “no one from the government has provided an explanation.”

Ms. Colón said she spoke with Mr. Guzmán on Friday afternoon and he had said he arrived at the ADX that morning.

Known as the Alcatraz of the Rockies, the ADX is reputed to be an escape-proof fortress, where inmates spend 23 hours a day inside their cells. Some officials call it the Supermax.

At his sentencing, Mr. Guzmán’s lawyers asked that he be allowed to remain in custody in New York City for 60 days while they prepared an appeal.

During the trial, Mr. Guzmán had been housed in the maximum security wing of the federal jail in Lower Manhattan, kept in isolation and denied nearly all visits except those from his lawyers and his young twin daughters. He had complained previously about conditions there, and at his sentencing he called his confinement at the prison “psychological, emotional and mental torture 24 hours a day.”

Federal prosecutors did not object on Wednesday to the request to keep Mr. Guzmán in Manhattan, but Judge Cogan told both parties that he would leave the decision to the Bureau of Prisons and the United States Marshals Service.

Mr. Guzmán is one of a number of prominent criminals housed in the ADX’s 500 cells, which are made of poured concrete and are intended to be impossible to escape.

They include Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is awaiting execution for his role in the Boston Marathon bombings; Terry L. Nichols, an accomplice to the Oklahoma City bombing; Theodore J. Kaczynski, the so-called Unabomber; and Robert P. Hanssen, an F.B.I. agent who spied for Russia.

Mr. Guzmán did manage to escape from a concrete cell once before. In his most infamous escape — coordinated by his wife, according to testimony at his trial — Mr. Guzmán climbed through a mile-long tunnel his underlings had dug underneath the prison walls into a shower in his cell.

According to testimony, prisoners at the maximum-security prison in Almoloya, Mexico, complained of the noise of crunching concrete, as cartel associates hollowed out the tunnel, which was lighted and ventilated and had a motorcycle awaiting to speed his escape. When Mr. Guzmán emerged, his brother-in-law was waiting for him with an all-terrain vehicle, which they rode to an airstrip.

Michael Gold and Patrick McGeehan contributed reporting.

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