Thursday, 17 Jun 2021

El Chapo's wife pleads guilty to helping husband run drugs cartel

The wife of caged Mexican drug lord ‘El Chapo’ has pleaded guilty in a US court over her role in helping her husband run the feared Sinaloa cartel of smugglers.

Wearing a green jumpsuit and white face mask, Emma Coronel Aispuro appeared for a court hearing before Judge Rudolph Contreras in Washington DC.

She pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiring to distribute illegal drugs, conspiring to launder money and engaging in financial dealings with the Sinaloa drug cartel.

As part of her plea agreement, she also admitted to conspiring to helping her husband, real name Joaquin Guzman, escape from a Mexican prison in 2015.

Coronel could face life in prison for the drug distribution charge.

The other two counts against her carry maximum prison terms of 20 years and ten years, respectively.

Without showing any obvious emotion and her face covered by the mask, the 31-year-old former beauty queen said she understood the charges and the repercussions of her guilty plea. ‘Everything is clear,’ she said.

The judge set a tentative sentencing date of September 15.

Coronel was arrested in February over allegations that she relayed messages to help Guzman traffic drugs from 2012 to early 2014, and continued delivering messages while visiting him in a Mexican prison following his February 2014 arrest.

She was born in California and holds US and Mexican citizenship.

Guzman, 64, was convicted in February 2019 in a high-profile Brooklyn trial of masterminding a multibillion-dollar drug enterprise for the Sinaloa cartel.

He was sentenced to life in prison — plus 30 years — and is locked up in a federal ‘supermax’ prison in Colorado.

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