Emma Coronel Aispuro, wife of Mexican drug trafficker Joaquín Guzmán Loera, better known as ‘El Chapo’, was arrested this Monday afternoon in Virginia.
US authorities accuse the partner of the former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel of international drug trafficking , the Department of Justice reported in a statement.
Coronel, 31, of Mexican and US citizenship, was detained at Dulles International Airport. It will be presented by videoconference in the Federal Court of the District of Columbia on Tuesday.
Guzmán Loera is serving a life sentence plus 30 years in the Florence Maximum Security Prison in Colorado.
The Sinaloan capo was convicted of 10 charges, including multiple cocaine distribution accounts in the United States.
Coronel, also originally from Sinaloa, is specifically accused of conspiring to import and distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana .
She is also singled out for helping her husband escape from a Mexican maximum security prison in 2015, the Defense Department statement said. Following his recapture, she allegedly helped him plan another escape from the same facility two years later.
Dámaso López, a former collaborator of ‘El Chapo’, testified during the trial against him that Coronel had helped him carry out his elaborate escape plan from the maximum security prison of the Altiplano , in Mexico.
Damaso then described her as an intermediary who carried messages to those who built the mile-long ventilated tunnel through which the kingpin escaped in 2015.
When Guzmán was transferred to another prison, Coronel allegedly ordered a cartel member to bribe a Mexican prison official with $ 2 million to transfer him back to the Altiplano, according to court documents presented in Coronel’s case on Monday.
Citing protected witnesses, an FBI agent describes in these documents how Coronel helped run her husband’s drug empire , assisting him with shipments between 2012 and 2014, and helping him evade US and Mexican authorities.
“Coronel grew up with knowledge of the narcotics industry and married Guzmán when she was a teenager… Coronel was aware of the tons of cocaine shipments that were being shipped, the tons of heroin that were being produced… he understood the drug proceeds that he controlled during his marriage to Guzmán ”, the document reads.
‘El Chapo’ married Coronel in 2007 when she was just 17 years old; She was the daughter of Ignacio Coronel, one of the founders of the Sinaloa Cartel.
Attorneys Jeffrey Lichtman and Mariel Colón , who were part of the defense in the trial against ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, will also represent Coronel , although they could not provide further details about the charges he faces.