Emma Coronel Aispuro, the wife of infamous drug kingpin Joaquín Guzmán “El Chapo” Loera, was arrested Monday in Virginia on charges stemming from her alleged involvement in international drug trafficking.
The 31-year-old Coronel, a dual U.S.-Mexican citizen and former beauty queen, was apprehended at Dulles International Airport near Washington D.C. She is scheduled to make an initial appearance Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia through video conference.
According to a Department of Justice release, citing court documents, Coronel has been charged in a “one count criminal complaint with a conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, five kilograms or more of cocaine, 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana, and 500 grams or more of methamphetamines for unlawful importation into the U.S.”
The release adds that she is “alleged to have conspired with others” to assist her husband in his elaborate July 11th, 2015 escape from Altiplano prison, located in Almoloya de Juarez, Mexico. After Guzmán’s January 2016 re-arrest in Mexico, Coronel allegedly “engaged in planning yet another prison escape with others prior to Guzmán’s extradition to the U.S. in January 2017.”
Court documents allege that, between 2012 and 2014, she “relayed messages on behalf of [Guzmán] in furtherance of drug trafficking activities while [Guzmán] attempted to avoid capture by Mexican authorities.”
Following a 2019 jury trial, “El Chapo” was convicted and sentenced to life plus 30 years in a federal prison.
Jeffrey Lichtman and Mariel Colon are representing Coronel. “We’re just trying to get the full scope of the government allegations at this time,” Colon told CNN, while Lichtman had no comment.
The FBI notes that Coronel and Guzmán married “in or about 2007.” During her husband’s trial, Coronel told the New York Times, “I admire him as the human being that I met, and the one that I married.”
Months before Guzmán’s recapture, he met actor Sean Penn for a secret interview in the Mexican mountains. “I supply more heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana than anybody else in the world,” the kingpin boasted in the piece, published by Rolling Stone in January 2016.