He's known for his escapes from two high-security prisons and the feds fear his recent requests could be part of another escape plan.
Guzman is convicted on 10 counts of drug trafficking and conspiracy to murder and currently at a federal correctional facility in New York.
In recent weeks his lawyers submitted a letter to a judge asking that El Chapo be allowed at least two hours of outdoor recreation per week, access to the commissary, earplugs, water bottles and other accommodations lamenting the conditions of his solitary confinement.
But federal officials fiercely are pushing back, saying those requests may be part of a brewing scheme to bust out.
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Prosecutors cited a foiled 1981 jailbreak at the same facility, involving a hijacked helicopters dropping weapons to inmates on the roof as they unsuccessfully attempted to flee.
El Chapo, the so-called ringleader of the ruthless Sinaloa Cartel, infamously managed to escape two Mexican prisons in the past, once through a mile-long underground tunnel.
The cunning criminal was ultimately captured and whisked to the U.S. to face justice.
"He sees the window closing because he's about to get sentenced," said ABC News Consultant and former FBI Agent Brad Garrett. "Maybe he thinks that his best chance to get away again would be while he's still in New York."
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