> Emma Coronel Aispuro
El Chapo's wife arrested on drug trafficking charge; detained at Washington-area airport
Kevin Johnson and Kevin McCoy, USA TODAY 18 mins ago
The wife of convicted drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera was arrested at a suburban Washington, D.C. airport Monday, for her alleged role in the distribution of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines and marijuana.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, a dual U.S.-Mexican citizen who had been a fixture at her husband's 2019 trial in Brooklyn, N.Y., is expected to make her first court appearance Tuesday in Washington.
Guzmán, a leader of Mexico's Sinaloa narcotics cartel, was sentenced to life in prison following his trial.
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More: Notorious drug lord Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán sentenced to life. And U.S. wants his $12.6B fortune.
Coronel Aispuro is charged in a conspiracy to distribute drugs in the U.S. and is alleged to have assisted in her husband's elaborate 2015 escape from a Mexican prison. She also is suspected of plotting another escape before Guzman's 2017 extradition to the U.S.
Jeffrey Lichtman, a prominent New York City defense lawyer who was one of Guzman's lawyers during trial, confirmed Monday that he is representing the convicted druglord's wife. He declined to comment further.
"Coronel grew up with knowledge of the narcotics trafficking industry, and married Guzman when she was a teenager," federal authorities said in court documents. "Coronel understood the scope of the Sinaloa Cartel’s drug trafficking; Coronel knows and understands the Sinaloa Cartel is the most prolific cartel in Mexico."
According to the documents, she also was "aware of multi-ton cocaine shipments, multi-kilo heroin production, multi-ton marijuana shipments, and ton quantity methamphetamine shipments."
"Coronel understood the drug proceeds she controlled during her marriage to Guzman were derived from these shipments," federal authorities said.
Citing statements from an unidentified cooperating witness, federal authorities said Coronel Aispuro participated in the plan to construct an underground tunnel linked to the Altiplano, Mexico prison that aided in her husband's 2015 dramatic escape.