Emma Coronel Aispuro, the pretty wife of the jailed Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman on Thursday pleaded guilty to three U.S federal offenses related to drug trafficking and money laundering in connection with her husband’s narcotics empire.
Emma’s husband, popularly called “El Chapo” was sentenced to life in prison in July 2019 by a federal judge in Brooklyn after being convicted on several drug-trafficking charges. He is serving his sentence in Colorado’s supermax prison
The charges against Emma 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.
“Are you entering this plea because you are guilty and for no other reason?” US District Judge Rudolph Contreras asked Coronel, for each of the three counts. “Si,” Coronel, Emma – a dual US-Mexican citizen answered in Spanish. Following her guilty plea, she will be sentenced on September 15.
Emma’s attorney, Jeffrey Lichtman who spoke outside the court house said;
“She is very happy to put this behind her.
“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.”
Emma Coronel Aispuro was arrested in February on international drug trafficking charges at Dulles International Airport and remained detained pending trial.
Prosecutors have alleged that she “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 U.S.
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.
As Mexico’s most powerful drug lord, Guzman reportedly ran a cartel responsible for smuggling cocaine and other drugs into the United States during his 25-year reign, prosecutors say. They also said his “army of sicarios,” or “hit men,” was under orders to kidnap, torture and kill anyone who got in his way.
Emma was a regular at her husband’s months-long trial in Brooklyn federal court in 2019, often exchanging waves and smiles with one of the world’s most feared drug lords.
During Guzman’s trial, a cooperating witness testified that his wife, Emma, and others worked together to coordinate details of Guzman’s last escape.
Emma, who is the niece of Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel, another late boss of the Sinaloa cartel, was born in California but spent most of her life in Mexico.