Emma Coronel Aispuro, El Chapo’s wife, pleads guilty to federal charges in exchange for a plea bargain.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, the wife of famed Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, pleaded guilty to charges in the United States on Thursday, admitting to assisting her husband in the running of his multibillion-dollar criminal operation.
As part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors, Aispuro appeared in federal court in Washington wearing a green jail uniform and pleaded guilty to three counts.
See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
For several years, the defendants knew and wilfully conspired to distribute heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine. She also admitted to participating in transactions with a foreign drug trafficker and to a money laundering conspiracy.
The 31-year-old was apprehended in Virginia’s Dulles International Airport in February and has been held in custody since then.
Prosecutors claim Coronel Aispuro “worked closely with the Sinaloa cartel’s command-and-control structure” and conspired to distribute significant amounts of drugs knowing they would be trafficked into the United States.
During Guzman’s 25-year reign as Mexico’s most powerful drug lord, authorities claim he oversaw a cartel responsible for transporting cocaine and other contraband into the United States. They also claimed that he had ordered his “army of sicarios,” or “hit men,” to abduct, torture, and kill anyone who stood in his way.
According to the prosecutor, Anthony Nardozzi, his wife “aided and abetted” the Sinaloa cartel’s goals of smuggling drugs into the United States, assisting in the importation of over 450,000 kilograms of cocaine, 90,000 kilograms of heroin, 45,000 kilograms of methamphetamine, and about 90,000 kilograms of marijuana.
Her arrest came as a surprise, in part because officials had made no attempt to apprehend her over the previous two years, despite the fact that she had been implicated in her husband’s crimes. During Guzman’s 2019 trial, prosecutors said she assisted in the planning of Guzman’s two prison breakouts in Mexico.
Coronel Aispuro, according to Nardozzi, “acted as a go-between” when her husband was jailed, delivering messages to cartel members and conspiring with Guzman’s sons to “plan and coordinate” his jail escapes.
Coronel Aispuro sat silently as prosecutors explained how they would be able to prove her wrongdoing if she wanted 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.