The wife of Mexican drug trafficker “El Chapo”, Emma Coronel, arrested in February at Washington airport, pleaded guilty on Thursday to participating in the trafficking of the powerful Sinaloa cartel, as part of an agreement with prosecutors US federal governments.
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During a hearing before Washington Federal Judge Rudolph Contreras, this 31-year-old former beauty queen, also an influencer and apprentice designer in her spare time, said she was “guilty” of the three charges against her, namely: participation in drug trafficking, money laundering, and transactions with a foreign drug trafficker.
According to the complaint filed against her by federal agents in February – and remained under seal until recent days – Emma Coronel Aispuro served as an “intermediary” between Joaquin Guzman aka “El Chapo” and his associates, and participated in the leadership of the Sinaloa cartel – one of the most powerful in the world – after El Chapo was imprisoned in Mexico.
She helped import into the United States some 450 tons of cocaine and 90 tons of heroin, said Thursday one of the prosecutors, Anthony Nardozzi, during the hearing.
This woman, who has dual American and Mexican nationality, also according to prosecutors helped “El Chapo” to escape from a Mexican prison in 2015.
The drug trafficker had then escaped through a tunnel of a kilometer and a half, emerging under the shower of his cell and equipped with rails, inflicting a scathing snub to the Mexican authorities.
Emma Coronel, who married El Chapo, 32 years her senior, in 2007, and had two twin daughters with him, passed on to the sons of El Chapo the drug trafficker’s request to “buy land near the prison of Altiplano (where he was locked up, editor’s note), as well as a nearby building, weapons and an armored vehicle, ”according to the complaint filed against her.
Emma Coronel is expected to know her sentence at a hearing set for September 15.
The three charges theoretically put him at risk of up to 10 years in prison.
But this agreement to plead guilty – a source familiar with the matter revealed on Tuesday – should earn him a reduced sentence, as is often the case in the United States.
Joaquin Guzman said “El Chapo”, 64, had been sentenced in July 2019 to life imprisonment, after a trial under high security in Brooklyn.
The one who was called the most powerful drug trafficker in the world until his extradition to the United States in 2017 is serving his sentence in a high-security Colorado prison.
Throughout her trial, which lasted more than three months between November 2018 and February 2019, Emma Coronel appeared almost daily at the hearing.
Always impeccably dressed and made up, exchanging kisses by distant gestures with Joaquin Guzman, she had aroused the fascination during this trial followed by the media around the world.
“El Chapo” posing a high risk of escape, the justice had refused him any contact with him, and prohibited any visit in detention, for her as for their twin daughters.