• Wed. Jun 16th, 2021

The wife of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has pleaded guilty to charges in the United States 

ByDavies

Jun 11, 2021
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The wife of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has pleaded guilty to charges in the United States and admitted that she helped her husband run his multi-billion-dollar criminal empire.

Key points:

  • Emma Coronel Aispuro was arrested in February at Dulles International Airport in Virginia and has been jailed since
  • Her husband ran a cartel responsible for smuggling cocaine and other drugs into the US during his 25-year reign
  • The court found she helped the cartel import mass amounts of cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana into the US

Emma Coronel Aispuro appeared in federal court in Washington and pleaded guilty to three federal offences as part of a plea deal with 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 was arrested in February at Dulles International Airport in Virginia and has been jailed since then.

“She is very happy to put this behind her,” Aispuro’s lawyer, Jeffrey Lichtman, said outside the courthouse.

“She didn’t expect to get arrested after her husband received life in prison. So, this is obviously a troubling time. But we’re going to get past it.”

 

This artist sketch depicts the court proceedings of Emma Coronel Aispuro, during a court hearing at the US District Courthouse in Washington.

Prosecutors alleged 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 US.

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 said. They also said his “army of sicarios,” or “hit men,” was under orders to kidnap, torture and kill anyone who got in his way.

The prosecutor, Anthony Nardozzi, said his wife had “aided and abetted” the Sinaloa cartel’s objectives to smuggle drugs into the US and helped to import more than 450,000 kilograms of cocaine, 90,000 kilograms of heroin, 45,000 kilograms of methamphetamine and about 90,000 kilograms of marijuana.

Mr Lichtman insisted Aisupro was a “very minimal participant” in the drug empire.

“She was a very small part of this much larger thing,” he said.

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.

Mr Nardozzi said 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.

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.

Mr Licthman said his client did not agree to cooperate with federal investigators but hoped she would receive below a statutory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison when she is due back in court in September for sentencing.

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