MEXICO CITY — Drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is willing to plead guilty to any charges in the United States if U.S. authorities promise him a short sentence in a medium-security prison, one of his lawyers said Wednesday.

Guzman wants to accelerate the extradition process so he can escape harsh conditions in a Mexican maximum-security prison, where guards will not let his client sleep, lawyer Jose Refugio Rodriguez said.

“We have talked about a proposal … to plead guilty to the charges in the United States without questioning their veracity,” said Rodriguez, who heads Guzman’s legal team.

“That in exchange for a reduction in the applicable sentence like others have done in these situations, but also look for a medium-security prison so that he’s not in the conditions that he has here,” he said.”

But talk of a possible deal shows a misunderstanding of the U.S. judicial process, said former federal prosecutor David Weinstein, who oversaw the narcotics division at the U.S. attorney’s office in Miami.

Weinstein noted that neither the Justice nor the State departments negotiate with fugitives or other wanted people who are not on U.S. soil, so any discussions could take place only following extradition. Even if Guzman were to cooperate with U.S. prosecutors, a judge would have the final say on sentencing while prison authorities would decide where he does his time.