Wife of Mexican drug cartel chief El Chapo arrested
Published: 01:42 PM, 23 February 2021
Coronel and Guzman tied the knot in 2007 when she was an 18-year-old beauty queen.
The wife of Mexican drug cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has been arrested over her alleged involvement in international drug trafficking, the US Department of Justice said.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, who regularly attended her husband’s trial in the US two years ago, was arrested on Monday at Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia.
The 31-year-old is expected to appear by video conference in a federal court in Washington on Tuesday. A lawyer for Coronel could not immediately be identified. It was unclear why Coronel, a dual US-Mexico citizen, was in the Washington, DC area.
Coronel was charged on Monday by the US Department of Justice with conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines for unlawful importation into the United States.
Her arrest came two years after a trial in Brooklyn where Guzman, now 63, was convicted of trafficking tonnes of drugs into the United States as Sinaloa’s leader. Prosecutors at the trial said Guzman amassed power through murders and wars with rival cartels.
He was sentenced in July 2019 to life in prison plus 30 years, which the sentencing judge said reflected Guzman’s “overwhelmingly evil” actions. Guzman was sent to ADX Florence in Colorado, the US’s most secure prison.
Prosecutors alleged Coronel also conspired to aid her husband in his July 2015 escape from the Altiplano prison in Mexico, when he dug a mile-long tunnel from his cell, and began plotting a second escape following his capture by Mexican authorities in January 2016.
According to the complaint, as much as $2m was paid to an unnamed Mexican official, who oversaw the country’s prisons, to facilitate Guzman’s second attempt to escape.
Coronel and Guzman have been married since 2007 when they wed in an ostentatious ceremony in a village in Durango state. At the time, Coronel was an 18-year-old beauty queen.
She has also been identified by US authorities as the daughter of Ines Coronel Barreras, as a “significant foreign narcotics trafficker” and an important member of the Sinaloa cartel.
Coronel was barred from all contact with Guzman during more than two years of pre-trial detention. But during the trial, each day as he entered and left the courtroom, Guzman touched his heart and blew his wife a kiss.
There were suggestions that she was involved in his business and prison escape, but authorities let her come and go freely.
“I can only say that I have nothing to be ashamed of. I am not perfect, but I consider myself a good human being who has never hurt anyone intentionally,” she said at the end of the trial.