The wife of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the imprisoned former leader of the Mexican drug cartel Sinaloa, was arrested Monday for alleged involvement in international drug trafficking, the US Justice Department said.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, who regularly tried her husband two years ago, was arrested at Dulles International Airport in Northern Virginia and is expected to appear in federal court in Washington Tuesday.
A lawyer for Coronel could not be identified immediately. It was unclear why Coronel, a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico, was in the Washington area.
Coronel’s arrest came two years after a trial in Brooklyn in which 63-year-old Guzman was convicted as the leader of Sinaloa for trafficking tons of drugs to the United States. Prosecutors at the trial said Guzman had amassed power through murders and wars with rival cartels.
He was sentenced to 30 years of life imprisonment in July 2019, reflecting “mostly evil” actions, according to Judge Guzman. Guzman was sent to ADX Florence, Colorado, the safest “Supermax” prison in the country.
Coronel was charged on Monday in a one-count complaint of conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines for illegal imports into the United States.
Prosecutors said Coronel also conspired to help her husband escape Altiplano Prison in Mexico in July 2015 when he dug a kilometer-long tunnel from his cell and one after his arrest by Mexican authorities in January 2016 second escape planned.
US and Mexico’s efforts to combat drug trafficking were weighed down in October when the US Department of Justice brought charges against former Mexican Defense Secretary Salvador Cienfuegos.
The Justice Department unexpectedly dropped this case the following month and allowed Cienfuegos to return to Mexico. A move Mexico said would restore confidence in the countries’ tense security ties.
Cienfuegos was exonerated two months later when Mexico dropped its own case.
Tomas Guevara, a security investigator at the Autonomous University of Sinaloa, said Coronel’s arrest could be part of a “pressure strategy” to get Guzman to work together.
A Mexican official familiar with Coronel’s case, who asked not to be identified, said her arrest was apparently just a U.S. initiative and that Coronel was not welcome in Mexico.
Coronel and Guzman have been married since 2007 when they were married in a lavish ceremony in a village in Durango state. At the time, Coronel was an 18-year-old beauty queen.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)