The wife of the murderous Mexican drug lord, Joaquin El Chapo Guzman, pleaded guilty last week to federal charges related to her helping her husband operate his multi-billion dollar drug trafficking organization.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, entered a guilty plea during a hearing at the Washington DC federal district court, wearing a green prison uniform and a maks. She spoke through a Spanish translator and said she pleads guilty to three federal charges stemming from helping her husband run his massive drug enterprise.
Aispuro ‘Aided And Abetted’ Sinaloa Cartel
Federal prosecutor Anthony Nardozzi noted during his presentation that Aispuro helped her husband run the Sinaloa Cartel for years, and after he was arrested in Mexico, was the middleman for his cartel so it could continue drug trafficking in his absence.
Nardozzi also said that Aispuro conspired with El Chapo’s sons to break him out of prison in 2015 by digging a one-mile-long tunnel. They also were accused of benefiting from his drug trafficking activities through their marriages.
The drug lord escaped on a motorcycle through the tunnel dug to his cell at the Altiplano maximum-security prison. Coronel brought letters and messages from El Chapo to the group that planned the escape after she visited him in prison.
El Chapo also escaped from Puente Grande prison in 2001 by hiding in a cart of dirty laundry.
Guzman was convicted on 10 federal charges in 2019, including international distribution of heroin, cocaine, and marijuana. He is serving a life sentence in the Supermax prison in Colorado that is home to some of the nation’s most notorious criminals, including the Unabomber.
Aispuro was asked during the hearing if she did what the US government accuses her of doing and says it can prove at trial, Aispuro said ‘yes.’
However, her attorney Jeffrey Lichtman said that his client was a minimal participant in a vast scheme after the hearing.
Former Beauty Queen Arrested At US Airport In February
Coronel Aispuro was a former beauty queen and was placed under arrest by federal agents at Dulles International Airport in February 2021. She has US and Mexican citizenship and is the mother of El Chapo’s twins.
Aispuro faces life in prison on the first count of conspiracy to distribute; 20 years for conspiracy to launder money, and 10 years for engaging in dealing and transactions for a foreign drug trafficker. She also could receive fines of more than $10 million.
Federal prosecutors said Coronel helped to traffic thousands of kilograms of heroin, cocaine, and marijuana. She also was a regular visitor at her husband’s trial in 2019 in Brooklyn, often smiling and waving at one of the most dangerous drug lords in the world.
After Guzman was convicted to life in prison, he signed away the rights to his name so his wife could start a clothing line branded with the El Chap name. She said that the time that the project was dedicated to her daughters.
El Chapo Was Long-Time Leader Of Huge Drug Cartel
El Chapo Guzman was the head of the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel for years, which smuggled massive amounts of cocaine and other illegal drugs into the US, the Justice Department reports.
He was extradited to the United States in 2017 and was tried in New York federal court. He is doing life in prison for his many drug trafficking and other crimes.
Coronel Had Unusual Role In the Cartel
Legal experts, setting aside whether Coronel is innocent or guilty, say that those who study drug trafficking make a unique role for themselves in her husband’s work. Coronel was a public figure, a gatekeeper, and even an entrepreneur. She also controlled access to her husband while he ran the drug cartel.
Most drug lords’ wives are seen as sexual and no business powers of their own. But Coronel showed that women could hold high positions of power, even in an illegal drug business.
However, wielding power in a drug cartel is dangerous, say agents in the DEA. When you work in this business, you either are caught or killed eventually.
Coronel put on a brave face as her husband was being tried as she planned a fashion company, but federal marshals were closing in on her.
Coronel met El Chapo when she was 17, and they were married a few months later. They have two children, and she sat with them during her husband’s trial almost every day.
During breaks, she clattered down the court’s marble halls in stilettos. Experts in the drug trafficking world say she acts and dresses in an exaggerated style typical of a person of her standing in that world. She wears expensive clothes and carries Louis Vuitton purses.
Everything about her is an exaggeration, including her looks and all the plastic surgery.
But her image of glamour and style was a sharp contrast to the terrible reality of the El Chapo drug cartel operation.
Guzman often resorted to violence to keep control over his enterprise, and he and his family reaped massive rewards as he gave them riches beyond most people’s dreams.
But the reality is that more than 300,000 in Mexico have died in 2006 since the government went to war against drug cartels. And many of them involved El Chapo’s operation.