Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, wife of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, a former leader of the Mexican drug cartel in Sinaloa, was arrested in the United States on Monday.
Aispuro, who has Mexican and US citizenship, was arrested at Dulles Airport in Virginia, according to a statement from the US Department of Justice.
According to court documents, she is charged with drug trafficking – organizing the importation of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana into the United States.
In addition, she is accused of having helped “El Chapo” to escape, on July 11, 2015, from the Mexican prison where he was being held. Arrested again in Mexico in January 2016, the former leader of the dreaded Sinaloa cartel reportedly once again had the woman’s help in planning another escape, before being extradited to the United States in January 2017.
In July 2019, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán was found guilty of ten counts against him, sentenced to life in prison and 30 years in prison in the United States. His trial was considered the largest in the history of drug trafficking in the country.
A ten-year relationship between escape and trial
US lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman, who defended “El Chapo” at his trial in New York, confirmed to BBC News Mundo (the Spanish service of the BBC) that he will also represent Aispuro – who plans to plead not guilty to the charges that he faces.
Lichtman avoided making additional comments in a brief phone conversation shortly after news of the arrest of the woman, who is due to appear by video conference in a trial in District Court of Columbia.
Aispuro met Guzmán when he was only 17 years old.
Their relationship lasted over a decade – for most of that time, however, Guzmán was at large and in prison in Mexico and the United States.
She has participated in person in most of the lawsuits against “El Chapo” in the United States.