The wife of Mexican kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges in the U.S in relation to her husband’s multibillion-dollar narcotics empire.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, accepted a plea bargain with U.S. prosecutors that will prevent her from going to trial. She was arrested in February at Dulles International Airport for international drug trafficking charges. She remained detained, pending her trial.
During the hearing in Washington D.C., she pleaded guilty to three charges: conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine; conspiring to launder money; and engaging in transactions and dealings with a foreign narcotics trafficker – her husband.
Prosecutors have alleged that Coronel Aispuro “worked closely with the command-and-control structure” of the Sinaloa cartel and conspired to distribute and smuggle drugs in the U.S. They have also said that she helped orchestrate Guzman’s two prison breaks in Mexico during his 2019 trial.
A former beauty queen with a passion for fashion, Coronel married El Chapo when she was 18, not long after meeting him. In 2019, Guzman was sentenced to life in prison and an additional 30 years for the crimes he committed as leader of the murderous Sinaloa Cartel.
The statutory minimum sentence for Coronel Aispuro’s crimes is 10 years, but her attorney Jeffrey Lichtman hopes for a lesser sentence. Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for September 15.