Metropolitan Detention Center, Guaynabo

The Metropolitan Detention Center, Guaynabo (MDC Guaynabo) is a United States federal prison facility in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico which holds male and female inmates of all security levels who are awaiting trial or sentencing. It is operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a division of the United States Department of Justice.

Federal Correctional Institution, Guaynabo
LocationGuaynabo, Puerto Rico
Security classAll security levels
Managed byFederal Bureau of Prisons

MDC Guaynabo is located next to Fort Buchanan U.S. Army base,[1] and is 6 miles (9.7 km) west of San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico.[2]

In the wake of the destruction of Hurricane Maria in September 2017, some 1200 federal prisoners were transferred from Guaynabo to the Federal Correctional Institution, Yazoo City in Mississippi.[3] Those 1200 were returned to Guaynabo in the first quarter of 2018, along with other prisoners who had been temporarily held in Atlanta, Georgia, Talladega Alabama, and Miami, Florida.[4]

Notable incidents


In 2010, an FBI investigation uncovered a conspiracy to distribute cocaine, heroin, marijuana, Percocet, and Xanax to an inmate at MDC Guaynabo. Several conspirators, led by Juan Rios-Ortiz, also attempted to provide cellular telephones, chargers, and SIM cards to an inmate of MDC. Rios-Ortiz worked for a company that had a contract to supply produce to the prison kitchen. Rios-Ortiz was subsequently convicted of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, distribution of controlled substances, and providing contraband to an inmate of a federal prison.[5][6]

On February 26, 2013, Osvaldo Albarati, a lieutenant for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, was shot and killed in what is believed to be retaliation for his investigations into cellphone smuggling at MDC Guaynabo. He had just left the facility and was driving home when several gunmen opened fire on his vehicle on the De Diego Expressway near Bayamon.[7] Albarati worked in the investigative branch at the prison, where he was responsible for investigating crime within the prison, including drug smuggling and illegal cellphone use. Authorities have said his killing may have been contracted by powerful drug kingpins being held at the facility in reprisal for recent seizures he spearheaded.[8] The FBI investigated the killing and no charges were filed.[9]

On March 24, 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the prison reported that it was operating on a modified schedule and inmates were not allowed visitors.[10]

Notable inmates (current and former)

Inmate Name Register Number Status Details
José Figueroa Agosto 35318-069[a] Released in March 2020. Leader of the largest drug trafficking organization in the Caribbean; apprehended in 2010 after ten years as Puerto Rico's most wanted fugitive and indicted for drug trafficking conspiracy and money laundering; known as the "Pablo Escobar of the Caribbean."[11][12][13]
Áurea Vázquez-Rijos
Marcia Vázquez-Rijos
Now at FMC Carswell Sisters convicted in 2018 for murdering Aurea's estranged husband Adam Joel Anhang Uster in 2005.
Al Sharpton 21458-069 Held for pre-trial purposes Baptist minister, political activist and current MSNBC television host; convicted of trespassing on federal property for protesting against the US military presence on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico.[14]
Edward James Olmos 21554-069 Released in August 2001 after serving 20 days Convicted of trespassing on federal property for protesting against the US military presence on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico
Félix Verdejo 51145-069 Serving a life sentence Professional boxer accused of killing a woman who was pregnant with his child.
David Oquendo-Rivas 34348-069 Now at USP Coleman Convicted in 2013 for the 2009 Sabana Seca massacre
Alexis Candelario-Santana 34421-069 Serving a life sentence
Emmanuel Gazmey-Santiago 48816-069[b] Released July 17, 2018 Latin trap artist known as Anuel AA, charged on illegal possession of firearms.[15]

See also



  1. ^ "Federal Bureau of Prisons Metropolitan Detention Center Guaynabo, Puerto Rico Unit Admission & Orientation Booklet 2011." Bureau of Prisons. October 13, 2011. p. 7 (PDF p. 7/54). Retrieved on September 14, 2017.
  2. ^ "MDC Guaynabo". Federal Bureau of Prisons.
  3. ^ Gates, Jimmie E. (18 October 2017). "State is housing 1,200 federal prisoners from Puerto Rico". Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Mississippi). Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  4. ^ Speri, Alice (23 March 2018). "PUERTO RICO WANTS TO CUT THE COST OF INCARCERATING PEOPLE BY SHIPPING THEM OFF THE ISLAND". The Intercept. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Juan Ríos Ortiz Found Guilty of Providing Contraband to the Federal Prison Defendant is Facing up to 20 Years in Prison and $1,000,000 in Fines". Federal Bureau of Investigation. November 18, 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  6. ^ "Inmate Locator - Juan Rios-Ortiz". Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  7. ^ "Federal corrections officer slain in Puerto Rico". GlobalPost – International News. February 27, 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  8. ^ "FBI: $50K reward in prison officer's slaying". Casiano Communications. March 15, 2013. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  9. ^ "Lieutenant Osvaldo Albarati". Officer Down Memorial Page. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  10. ^ "Bureau of Prisons Update on COVID-19" (PDF). Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  11. ^ "DEA agents nab alleged drug kingpin in Puerto Rico". CNN. July 18, 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  12. ^ Coto, Danica (July 17, 2010). "Jose Figueroa Agosto Arrested: Feds Catch Alleged Puerto Rico Drug Lord After 10-Year Hunt". Huffington Post. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  13. ^ "José Figueroa Agosto and 16 Other Individuals Indicted for Drug Trafficking as a Result of a Joint DEA, FBI and ICE Investigation". US Department of Justice. November 22, 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  14. ^ "Sharpton Sentenced to Jail for Vieques Protest". The New York Times.
  15. ^ "Bajo arresto el reguetonero Anuel AA" (in Spanish). Metro Noticias. April 3, 2016. Retrieved April 3, 2016.

18°25′24″N 66°06′45″W / 18.42333°N 66.11250°W / 18.42333; -66.11250