Patricia Hurtado, 10 June 2021
The wife of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman pleaded guilty on Thursday to narcotics trafficking and money laundering conspiracy charges, almost two years after Guzman was sentenced to life in prison.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, has been in U.S. custody since she was arrested at Dulles International Airport in Virginia in February, accused of helping her husband operate the multibillion-dollar Sinaloa cartel and aiding his escape from a Mexican prison through an underground tunnel.
She pleaded guilty, in federal court in Washington, to conspiring to distribute illegal drugs in the U.S. and to launder money, and to engaging in transactions with a foreign narcotics trafficker.
Coronel, a U.S. citizen born in California, admitted working for the drug empire in a scheme that began around the time of her marriage to Guzman in 2007 and ran to the end of 2019. Guzman was convicted of engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, as well as on drug trafficking and firearms charges, as leader of the cartel.
As part of a plea agreement, Coronel faces nine to 11 years in prison, federal prosecutors said Thursday.