WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — The wife of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, leader of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel, was arrested on Monday in Virginia on drug trafficking charges, the U.S. Justice Department said.
“Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, a dual U.S.-Mexican citizen, of Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico, was arrested today at Dulles International Airport,” according to the Justice Department. “She is scheduled to make her initial appearance in federal court tomorrow in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia via video conference.”
Aispuro is charged with participating in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana for importation into the United States.
Coronel Aispuro is alleged to have conspired with others to assist Guzman in his July 11, 2015 escape from Altiplano prison in Almoloya de Juarez, Mexico. After Guzman was arrested again in Mexico in January 2016, Coronel Aispuro is alleged to have engaged in planning another prison escape with others prior to Guzman’s extradition to the United States in January 2017, according to the Justice Department.
Guzman was sentenced last year to life behind bars for a massive drug conspiracy that spread murder and mayhem for more than two decades.
Before the federal case, he had attained near-mythical status by escaping from prison twice in Mexico, the second time through a tunnel dug into the shower of his cell. He was recaptured and sent in 2017 to the United States and put in solitary confinement.
At trial, Guzman’s lawyers argued he was the fall guy for other kingpins who were better at paying off top Mexican politicians and law enforcement officials to protect them.
“Chapo Guzman’s prosecution was marred by rampant excess and overreach, both governmental and judicial – needless resorts if he was really the kingpin extraordinaire his adversaries insisted,” the appeal says.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.