WASHINGTON | The wife of Mexican drug trafficker “El Chapo”, Emma Coronel Aispuro, was sentenced Tuesday by a US federal judge to three years in prison after admitting her participation in the trafficking of the powerful Sinaloa cartel.
Prosecutors had asked for a four-year sentence. Magistrate Rudolph Contreras said the Mexican-American, now 32, was very young when she married “El Chapo”, and that she had cooperated with authorities after her arrest in February. .
The young woman, in a dark pantsuit, her face partly hidden by a black mask, did not react to the pronouncement of the sentence.
Emma Coronel pleaded guilty in June to three counts: participation in drug trafficking, money laundering and transactions with a foreign drug trafficker.
In addition to 48 months of detention, the team of prosecutors in charge of the case had requested on November 18 that she be sentenced to 5 years of supervised release and the payment of 1.5 million dollars.
His lawyer, Mariel Colon, had denied that his client had cooperated with prosecutors to see his sentence reduced. She also denied that she would benefit from protected witness status.
“Her daughters are in Mexico and we know very well what happens to those who cooperate and their families,” she explained to Univision television, referring to the reprisals of the cartels.
The former beauty queen, also influencer and apprentice designer, was accused of having served as an “intermediary” between Joaquin Guzman alias “El Chapo” and his associates, and of having participated in the management of the Sinaloa cartel – one of the most powerful in the world – once El Chapo was imprisoned in Mexico.
El Chapo Guzman
” An important role ”
Emma Coronel Aispuro married “El Chapo”, 32 years her senior, in 2007 and had twin girls with him.
Between her marriage and her arrest in February, she benefited “in many ways” and “knowingly” from the profits of her husband’s trafficking, according to the prosecution.
According to the latter, she admitted to having knowledge of the importation into the United States of at least 450 kg of cocaine, 90 kg of heroin, 45 kg of methamphetamine and 90 tonnes of marijuana.
This woman, who has dual American and Mexican nationality, also according to prosecutors helped “El Chapo” to escape in 2015 from a Mexican prison.
The drug trafficker had then escaped through a tunnel of a kilometer and a half, hidden under the shower of his cell and equipped with rails, inflicting a scathing snub to the Mexican authorities.
But prosecutors note that she had no criminal record prior to her arrest and that she “quickly accepted her responsibilities.”
“It is very clear that she collaborated” with American justice, explained to AFP Michael Lettieri, specialist in drug trafficking groups in Mexico, stressing that she “played an important role in the operations” of the cartel. Sinaloa.
Joaquin Guzman was considered the most powerful drug trafficker in the world until his arrest in 2016 and extradition to the United States in 2017.
Sentenced in July 2019 to life imprisonment after a high-security trial in New York, he is serving his sentence in a high-security Colorado prison.
Emma Coronel Aispuro had attended her husband’s trial almost daily.