THE wife of Mexican drug lord El Chapo is expected to plead guilty in court on Thursday morning to charges related to helping her husband run his multi-billion dollar drug empire.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, who prosecutors say played a key role in El Chapo’s 2015 escape from a Mexican prison, is due to appear in a virtual hearing in Washington federal court at 10am.
Emma Coronel Aispuro will plead guilty in court today to charges relating to helping run her husband’s drug empire[/caption]
She was arrested in February following a two-year probe[/caption]
Her arrest came two years after her husband El Chapo received a life sentence[/caption]
It’s currently unclear specifically what charges she will plead guilty to.
If Coronel is convicted on all counts against her, she is facing a sentence of up to life in prison and a maximum fine of $10 million.
The 31-year-old former beauty queen was arrested in February following a two-year investigation.
Investigators say she helped her husband – real name Joaquin Guzman – relay messages from 2012 to early 2014 about his drug trafficking operations to smugglers within the Sinaloa cartel.
She allegedly continued to deliver messages while visiting El Chapo in a Mexican prison after his arrest in February 2014.
The FBI in court documents said US-born Coronel and members of her family were deeply involved in the cartel’s trafficking activities.
Prosecutors have also said she conspired in Guzman’s famous July 2015 escape from the Altiplano prison in Mexico through a mile-long tunnel dug from his cell.
If Coronel is convicted on all counts against her, she is facing a sentence of up to life in prison and a maximum fine of $10 million[/caption]
Prosecutors say she also assisted in El Chapo’s famed prison escape[/caption]
The FBI said a witness told agents she passed along a message from Guzman to his sons, telling them to purchase land near the Altiplano prison.
They also asked that witness to buy a nearby warehouse, firearms, and an armored truck, it said.
He managed to escape through the underground tunnel through an entryway bored into the shower inside his cell.
Coronel allegedly began plotting another escape following his January 2016 capture by Mexican authorities.
Before that plan could be carried out, however, El Chapo was extradited to the US.
Emma Coronel Aispuro – 'The Narco Princess'
EMMA Coronel Aispuro was born on July 3, 1989, in San Francisco, California. She grew up in Durango near Sinaloa state.
She is believed to have gotten married in 2007 on her 18th birthday.
Emma is a former beauty queen who often shares pictures of herself online.
She is a Mexican-American, the daughter of Inés Coronel Barreras, a cattle rancher, and Blanca Estela Aispuro Aispuro.
Her rancher father is said to have cultivated marijuana and opium poppies and her uncle is slain drug kingpin Igancio Nacho Coronel, an important member of the Sinaloa Cartel and one of El Chapo’s most trusted men.
El Chapo is said to have fallen in love with Emma Coronel when he saw her at a beauty pageant in the Mexican state of Durango in 2007.
She was competing in the local Coffee and Guava Festival in 2007, when she was just 17 and El Chapo exerted his influence to ensure the girl won.
El Chapo, 47 at the time, wooed the young Coronel, who eventually married him on her 18th birthday.
In an interview with the LA Times she said: “I would say what won me over was his way of talking, how he treated me, the way we began to get along – first as friends and from that came everything else.
“He tends to win over people by his manner of being, of acting, the way he treats people in general.”
She was a fixture at his 2019 trial in New York — after which he was jailed for life at a US maximum-security prison.
After a New York court found Guzman guilty of running a giant cocaine empire, his wife strolled out through the waiting paparazzi to a waiting car “like a celebrity leaving a club.”
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 locked up in the federal Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.
Prosecutors in her husband’s trial offered up evidence that Coronel was also deeply involved in the family’s criminal activity.
A two-year federal probe was launched before Coronel was arrested in February 2021.
Coronel was charged with conspiring to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, 1 or more kilograms of heroin, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, and 1,000 or more kilograms of marijuana, as well as aiding and abetting.
The intitial conspiracy count carries up to a 10-year sentence alone.
She is pictured about at a shooting range[/caption]
After her arrest, experts suspected that she would give up key information on the Sinaloa cartel to avoid conviction and, in doing so, could bring the infamous smuggling group down.
“She can provide a lot of information that can lead to US-based indictments against Sinaloa cartel members,” top US drug cop Mike Vigil told The Sun.
“Her motivation for co-operating would be her young twin daughters. She goes to jail, she has a life without them.”
However, sources familiar with the matter told the New York Times that Coronal has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors that does not require her to offer the government any information about her husband’s business dealings.
Coronel met El Chapo when she was a young beauty queen, and married him in 2007 at age 18.
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The couple has twin daughters together.
Both her father Ines Coronel Barreras and brother Omar are mid-ranking gangsters inside the cartel, according to reports.
Her rancher dad is said to have grown marijuana and opium poppies while her uncle was drug kingpin Igancio “Nacho” Coronel – one of El Chapo’s most trusted men.