The United States Department of Justice said Monday it arrested the wife of former Sinoa drug cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. He is suspected of international drug trafficking.
Two years ago, 31-year-old Emma Coronel Aispuro regularly attended her husband’s court hearings. He was arrested at Dales Airport in Virginia and is expected to appear in federal court in Washington on Tuesday.
His arrest came two years after a high-profile trial in Brooklyn, New York, two years ago. In July 2019, Guzman, now 63, was convicted of smuggling tons of drugs into the United States. Prosecutors said Guzman gained great power through assassinations and wars with rival cartels. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and an additional 30 years. The sentencing judge said the conviction was in line with his “extremely evil” actions. He was sent to the federal prison of the “supermaximal” regime in Colorado.
Coronel has been charged with intent to smuggle and distribute heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine in the United States.
Prosecutors said Coronel was also involved in facilitating her husband’s escape from prison when, in July 2015, Guzman escaped from a Mexican high-altitude prison cell through a one-and-a-half-kilometer tunnel. He also began planning a second escape when Mexican authorities arrested Guzman in January 2016.
Thomas Guevara, a security researcher at the Autonomous University of Sinaloa, said Coronel’s arrest might be part of a “pressure strategy” to get Guzman to cooperate.
A Mexican official familiar with Coronel’s case said on condition of anonymity that his arrest appeared to be a United States initiative only and that Coronel was not wanted in Mexico.