Beauty queen wife of Mexican drug kingpin ‘El Chapo’ pleads guilty to helping run his multibillion-dollar narcotics empire and breaking him out of jail in plea deal with US prosecutors
- Emma Coronel Aispuro pleaded guilty Thursday to charges in the U.S. and admitted that she helped her husband run his multibillion-dollar criminal empire
- The charges include knowingly and willfully conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine for several years
- She also pleaded guilty to a money-laundering conspiracy charge and to engaging in transactions with a foreign narcotics trafficker
- The 31-year-old was arrested in February at Dulles International Airport in Virginia and has been jailed since then
Emma Coronel Aispuro, the wife of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, pleaded guilty Thursday to charges in the U.S. and admitted that she helped her husband run his multibillion-dollar criminal empire
The wife of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman pleaded guilty Thursday to charges in the U.S. and admitted that she helped her husband run his multibillion-dollar criminal empire.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, wearing a green jail uniform, appeared in federal court in Washington and pleaded guilty to three federal offenses as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors.
The charges include knowingly and willfully conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine for several years. She also pleaded guilty to a money-laundering conspiracy charge and to engaging in transactions with a foreign narcotics trafficker.
The 31-year-old, who is the mother of their twin daughters, was arrested in February at Dulles International Airport in Virginia and has been jailed since then.
Prosecutors have alleged Coronel Aispuro ‘worked closely with the command-and-control structure’ of the Sinaloa cartel and conspired to distribute large quantities of drugs, knowing they would be smuggled into the U.S.
As Mexico’s most powerful drug lord, Guzman ran a cartel responsible for smuggling cocaine and other drugs into the United States during his 25-year reign, prosecutors say. They also said his ‘army of sicarios,’ or ‘hit men,’ was under orders to kidnap, torture and kill anyone who got in his way.
Coronel is seen, left, at her husband’s trial and right, on February 23, appearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robin Meriweather in Washington DC
In this July 17, 2019 file photo, Emma Coronel Aispuro, center, wife of Mexican drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, arrives for his sentencing at Brooklyn federal court, in New York
The prosecutor, Anthony Nardozzi, said his wife had ‘aided and abetted’ the Sinaloa cartel’s objectives to smuggle drugs into the U.S. and helped to import more than 450,000 kilograms of cocaine, 90,000 kilograms of heroin, 45,000kg of methamphetamine and about 90,000kg of marijuana.
Guzman, whose nickname ‘El Chapo’ means ‘Shorty’, is seen on January 19, 2017, when he was extradited from Mexico to the United States. He was handed over on the last day of Barack Obama’s presidency
Her arrest earlier this year was a surprise in part because authorities had made no move to arrest her over the past two years, even after she was implicated in her husband’s crimes. During Guzman’s trial in 2019, prosecutors said she helped orchestrate Guzman’s two prison breaks in Mexico.
Nardozzi said Coronel Aispuro ‘served as a go-between’ to deliver messages to cartel members after her husband was arrested and also conspired with Guzman´s sons to ‘plan and coordinate’ his prison escapes.
Coronel Aispuro listened quietly as prosecutors described how they could prove her illegal activity if she chose to go to trial.
‘Yes,’ she said through a translator, when asked by the judge if she had actually committed the crimes the government described.
She now faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a fine of $10 million.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, will plead guilty this week to helping her husband Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman run his drug empire, The New York Times reported on Tuesday. He was convicted by a New York court in February 2019 and is serving a life sentence in Colorado
Coronel cultivated a substantial social media following thanks to the high-profile trial
Her plea agreement with prosecutors in Washington does not require her to cooperate with the U.S. authorities, the person familiar with the case told The New York Times.
One person with extensive knowledge of the family and the case told DailyMail.com they doubted she was not cooperating, adding: ‘She knows enough’.
Guzman himself is unlikely to be affected, as the 63-year-old was convicted in February 2019 in a high-profile Brooklyn trial of masterminding a multibillion dollar drug enterprise for his drug operation.
He was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years, and locked up in the federal Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.
Her husband, Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, is seen in February 2014 after he was presented before the Mexican press, as proof of his arrest. He would later escape with his wife’s help
His sons, however, may well be concerned, a source told DailyMail.com.
Joaquin Guzman Lopez, 36, and Ovidio Guzman Lopez, 30, have both been indicted by the U.S. authorities.
Ivan, 40, and Jesus, 38, are also believed to be heavily involved in the running of the cartel, now that their father is behind bars.
So too might Ismael ‘El Mayo’ Zambada, the 73-year-old right-hand man of Guzman. El Mayo, unlike Guzman, has never been caught and is almost a mythical figure among law enforcement trying to track him down.
His son, Ismael Zambada Imperial, 35, admitted in a plea agreement in San Diego at the end of April to being a major coordinator in the trafficking operation, including importing and distributing tons of cocaine, heroin and marijuana from Mexico into the U.S.
Coronel is expected to appear in court in Washington DC on Thursday and enter her plea, the paper reported.
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