Washington – The wife of famous Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges for helping her husband run his multi-billion dollar criminal empire.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, made her case in a hearing Thursday in Federal District Court in Washington, appearing in person before U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras and wearing a green prison uniform and white mask. Speaking through a Spanish translator, Coronel Aispuro told the court she was pleading guilty to all three criminal charges related to her involvement in her husband’s sprawling drug business.
Coronel Aispuro is being held without bail and will be sentenced in September.
Prosecutor Anthony Nardozzi told the court that Coronel Aispuro “aided and abetted” the Sinaloa cartel, of which her husband was the leader, from 2011 to 2017 and, after Guzmán’s arrest in Mexico, served as an “intermediary “for his cartel in pursuit of his drug trafficking. Nardozzi also accused Coronel Aispuro of plotting with Guzmán’s sons to coordinate his 2015 prison break through an elaborate mile-long underground tunnel and benefit from his criminal activities through their marriage.
Asked by Contreras if she did “in fact what the government said it could prove at trial”, Coronel Aispuro replied “yes”.
Former beauty queen Coronel Aispuro was arrested by federal authorities at Dulles International Airport outside Washington in February. She has dual Mexican-American citizenship and is the mother of Guzmán’s twins.
Coronel Aispuro faces a maximum sentence of life in prison on the first count, conspiracy to distribute; 20 years for the second count, conspiracy to launder monetary instruments; and 10 years for the third count, participation in transactions and dealings with a designated foreign drug dealer. She is also liable to fines of over $ 10 million on all three counts.
Guzmán was the longtime leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel, which was responsible for smuggling mounds of cocaine and other drugs into the United States, according to the Justice Department. He was extradited to the United States in 2017 and was tried in federal court in New York, in which jurors heard almost three months of testimony from 56 witnesses and deliberated for six days.
Guzmán has been convicted of all 10 counts against him relating to his criminal enterprise and drug trafficking and is serving a life sentence in a Colorado SuperMax prison.