The former beauty queen spends a long time in prison for helping her husband handle the violent drug cartel Sinaloa in Mexico.
The wife of Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has pleaded guilty in federal court to helping her husband handle the Sinaloa poster of smugglers.
Dressed in a green prison suit and wearing a white mask, Emma Coronel Aispuro appeared Thursday in U.S. District Court in Washington, DC.
She pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to distribute illegal drugs, conspiracy to launder money and engage in financial relations with the Sinaloa drug cartel.
As part of her recognition agreement, she admitted to helping her husband escape from a Mexican prison in 2015.
Coronel faces a potential life sentence for the drug distribution charge. The other two defendants against her carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and 10 years.
Without showing any obvious emotion and his face covered by a mask, Coronel said he understood the accusations and repercussions of his guilty plea.
“Everything is clear,” he told the judge.
U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras has set a tentative sentencing date of September 15th.
The 31-year-old beauty queen had been arrested in February at Dulles International Airport in Virginia on charges that she had sent messages to help Guzman deal with drug trafficking from 2012 to early 2014.
Coronel continued to transmit messages while visiting him in a Mexican prison after his February 2014 arrest.
As the most powerful drug lord in Mexico, Guzman handled a cartel charged with smuggling cocaine and other drugs into the United States during his 25-year reign, U.S. prosecutors said.
Guzman’s “assassin army,” or “assassin,” was under the command to kidnap, torture, and kill all who put him on the road.
The Sinaloa cartel smuggled more than 450,000 kg of cocaine, 90,000 kg of heroin, 45,000 kg of methamphetamine and about 90,000 kg of cannabis into the United States, prosecutors said.
Coronel was born in California and holds both American and Mexican citizenship.
Guzman, 64, was recovered after escaping from prison and extradited to the United States where he was staying. condemned in 2019 on charges of leadership of the multimillion-dollar drug company Sinaloa cartel.
Guzman was sentenced by a federal court in New York to life in prison for more than 30 years, and is currently locked up in a maximum security prison in Florence, Colorado.