Wife of “El Chapo” expected to plead guilty to helping him run drug empire
The wife of jailed Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman will this week plead guilty to helping her husband smuggle narcotics, a person familiar with the matter said Tuesday.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, was arrested by US authorities at Dulles International Airport outside of Washington in February on suspicion of aiding her husband’s drug trafficking business.
The former beauty queen was slapped with one charge of conspiracy to traffic cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana for importation into the United States.
She will enter a guilty plea in court in Washington on Thursday, the source told AFP. A guilty plea could help reduce her sentence.
Multiple US media also reported that Coronel would admit her role in her husband’s criminal activities.
Guzman was the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, one of Mexico’s most notorious drug trafficking groups.
He ran an operation that delivered hundreds of tons of narcotics into the United States and was behind multiple murders of those who crossed him, according to court filings.
He was extradited to the United States in 2017 to stand trial, and was convicted and sentenced to life in prison two years later.
Coronel, according to the Justice Department, took part in cartel activities and also allegedly assisted in two plots to help Guzman escape from Mexican prison, including the successful first one in 2015.
A dual US-Mexico citizen and the mother of twins by Guzman, Coronel, 32 years younger than her husband, appeared in court nearly every day of his three-month trial in New York.
She had been barred from all contact with him 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 her a kiss.
During the trial, there were suggestions that she was involved in his business and prison escape, but authorities let her come and go freely.
Guzman is locked up in the highest-security prison in the United States, the ADX federal prison in Florence, Colorado. AFP