(Washington) The wife of Mexican drug trafficker Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán will appear in US federal court in Washington on Tuesday.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, a 31-year-old former beauty queen, was arrested Monday at Dallas International Airport. She is accused of helping her husband run his empire and of collaborating in his spectacular escape in 2015.
Mme Coronel holds dual Mexican-American citizenship.
His arrest is just the most recent development in the long and bloody history of Guzmán, who has long led the violent Sinaloa cartel.
Guzmán, whose two mind-blowing escapes in Mexico fueled the myth that he and his family were untouchable, was extradited to the United States in 2017. He is currently serving a life sentence.
His wife, with whom he has two young daughters, is now charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines in the United States.
The Justice Department also accuses her of helping her husband escape a Mexican prison in 2015 and of planning a second escape before his extradition to the United States.
Ms Coronel was sent to a Virginia jail late Monday night. She is expected to appear by video conference on Tuesday. His lawyer, Jeffrey Lichtman, declined to comment.
As Mexico’s most powerful drug trafficker, Guzmán shipped tons of cocaine and other drugs to the United States during his 25-year reign, US prosecutors recently said. They add that he had ordered his army of “killers” to kidnap, torture and kill all those who opposed him.
His legendary escapes have raised the question of whether the Mexican justice system is up to the task. Guzmán fled in particular through a 1.6 kilometer tunnel dug under the shower of his cell. His wife is said to have played a leading role in the planning and construction of this tunnel, which was lighted and ventilated, and in which a motorcycle was mounted on rails.
Mme Coronel, Guzmán’s sons and a witness who now collaborates with the US government allegedly bought land near Altiplano prison, weapons and an armored truck. They also reportedly sent Guzmán a GPS watch behind bars to find out exactly where he was.
Guzmán was sentenced to life in prison in 2019.
Mme Coronel, a former beauty queen in her teens, attended her trial regularly, even when the testimony heard splashed her. They are over 30 years apart and their twins were born in 2011.
Her father, Ines Coronel Barreras, and one of her brothers were arrested in 2013 in a case of trafficking in marijuana.
A former member of the Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States, Mike Vigil, recalls that Mr.me Coronel “has been involved in the drug trade since she was little. She knows the workings of the Sinaloa cartel. ”
She could now be ready to collaborate with the authorities.
“She has a big motivation: her twins,” he said.
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