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Emma Coronel, El Chapo’s wife, released from federal prison

Emma Coronel Aispuro, the wife of former Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, was released from federal custody on Wednesday, authorities said.

Coronel, 34, served three years in federal prison for helping her husband run his multibillion-dollar criminal empire. She was accused by federal prosecutors of smuggling drugs into the United States and helping her husband get out of a maximum security prison in Mexico in 2015.

Coronel turned herself in to federal authorities in 2021 and pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering conspiracy and knowingly and willfully conspiring to distribute drugs.

In June, she was transferred from a federal prison in Forth Worth, Texas, to a halfway house in Los Angeles County.

A spokesperson for the Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed that Coronel was released Wednesday and will remain on supervised release for the next two years, but released no additional information.

The former teenage beauty queen was born near San Francisco and married Guzmán when she was 18 and he was 50, according to an interview with Coronel by the LA Times in 2016. Because she is a U.S. citizen, Coronel was in Los Angeles County in 2011 when she gave birth to her twin daughters while Guzmán was a fugitive in hiding.

Since the 1990s, Guzmán has been arrested several times by Mexican authorities as he rose through the ranks of the Sinaloa cartel. But he also orchestrated numerous prison escapes, including a 2001 trip in a load of prison laundry, which led to 13 years of evasion from authorities. During this time, Guzmán met Coronel at a beauty pageant in Canelas, in the Mexican state of Durango, according to his account of the first time they met.

“I would say what won me over was the way he spoke, the way he treated me, the way we started to get along – first as friends, and from there came everything else,” Coronel said.

Guzmán was recaptured in Mexico, but escaped from the Altiplano maximum security prison near Mexico City through an underground tunnel in July 2015. Federal prosecutors say Coronel smuggled in a GPS watch to her husband in prison and helped him escape.

When he was finally captured, Guzmán was wanted in several jurisdictions in the United States and Mexico.

But it was the Eastern District of New York that filed charges against him and led to his extradition to the United States in 2017. He is currently serving a life sentence plus 30 years at ADX Florence, a supermax prison in Colorado.

Los Angeles Times

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