(The AEGIS Alliance) – The wife of convicted drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera was arrested on Monday at a Virginia airport for her alleged role in the trafficking of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines and just some marijuana.
31-year-old Emma Coronel Aispuro, a dual U.S.-Mexican citizen was a fixture at her husband’s 2019 trial in Brooklyn, N.Y., is anticipated to make her first courtroom appearance Tuesday in Washington D.C.
Guzmán, a leader of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel, was sentenced to life in prison after his trial.
Coronel Aispuro is charged in a conspiracy to distribute drugs within the U.S. and is alleged to have assisted in her husband’s elaborate 2015 escape from a Mexican jail. She is also suspected of plotting one other escape prior to Guzman’s 2017 extradition to the U.S.
Jeffrey Lichtman, a distinguished New York City defense attorney who was considered one of Guzman’s legal professionals throughout the trial. Lichtman confirmed on Monday that he’s representing the convicted drug lord’s spouse. He declined to make any additional remarks.
“Coronel grew up with knowledge of the narcotics trafficking industry, and married Guzman when she was a teenager,” federal authorities stated 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 paperwork, she additionally 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 mentioned.
Citing statements from a cooperating witness, federal authorities stated Coronel Aispuro participated in the plan to assemble an underground tunnel linked to the Altiplano, Mexico jail that aided in her husband’s dramatic prison break in 2015.
Coronel Aispuro was implicated in her husband’s criminal affairs throughout his trial in a 2018-2019 trial in a Brooklyn federal courtroom.
Damaso Lopez Nuñez, a former Guzmán lieutenant who testified as a government witness in January 2019, informed jurors his boss was determined to escape from Mexico’s maximum-security Altiplano prison, the place he was locked up after a squad of Mexican Marines captured him in February 2014.
In the brazen July 2015 breakout that captured worldwide headlines, Guzmán slipped right into a roughly mile-long tunnel that had been secretly excavated beneath the prison. He made his getaway on a motorbike hooked up to rails contained in the ventilated and lighted passageway.
Testifying by way of a Spanish translator, Lopez mentioned Coronel Aispuro started relaying the boss’ directions during a secret meeting that happened around April 2014 in Culiacán, Mexico.
Guzmán was “taking the risk … and thinking of escaping from prison,” Lopez mentioned Guzmán’s wife informed him, the boss’ sons and others in the course of the meeting.
Recounting a follow-up session a month or so later, Lopez testified that Coronel Aispuro relayed further instructions from her husband to the plotters: “A tunnel had to be built and they should start to work.”
Watching and listening from a courtroom bench at the time, Coronel Aispuro displayed no evident emotion throughout the testimony as she fidgeted with her practically waist-length dark hair.
She later declined to comment afterward about Lopez’s testimony. Similarly, Brooklyn federal prosecutors at the time declined to debate why Coronel Aispuro had not been charged in her husband’s criminal indictment.
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.