According to the US Department of Justice, the wife of Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, the incarcerated former chief of the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel, has been arrested for her alleged involvement in foreign drug trafficking.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, who regularly attended the trial of her husband two years ago, was arrested at Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia on Monday and is scheduled to appear in federal court in Washington on Tuesday at a video conference.
A lawyer for Coronel could not be found immediately. It was unclear why Coronel, a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico, was in the Washington, DC area.
The arrest of Coronel came two years after a Brooklyn trial where Guzman, now 63, was convicted as Sinaloa’s chief of trafficking loads of cocaine into the United States. Via murders and wars with rival cartels, prosecutors at the trial said Guzman amassed wealth.
In July 2019, he was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years, which the sentencing judge said represented “overwhelmingly evil” behavior by Guzman. Guzman was transferred to ADX Florence, the most safe jail in the US, in Colorado.
On Monday, Coronel was suspected of conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine, cannabis and methamphetamines to the US for illicit importation.
Prosecutors say that Coronel also conspired to help her husband escape from Mexico’s Altiplano prison in July 2015, when he dug a mile-long tunnel from his cell, and started planning a second escape following his capture in January 2016 by Mexican authorities.
According to the lawsuit, in order to encourage Guzman’s second attempt to escape, as much as $2 m was paid to an unidentified Mexican official who supervised the country’s prisons.