Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s beauty queen wife, who reveled in a luxurious lifestyle and stood by her Sinaloa cartel kingpin husband throughout his headline-grabbing New York trial, was busted Monday on international drug trafficking charges.
Federal authorities arrested Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, in Virginia at Dulles International Airport, the Department of Justice said. She’s charged with conspiring to smuggle cocaine, meth, heroin and pot into the U.S., and helping her husband with his notorious 2015 tunnel escape from a Mexican prison.
She also had planned another escape before “El Chapo,” 63 was extradited to the U.S. under heavy guard in 2017, federal authorities said.
Coronel’s family was in the drug trafficking business since she was a child — her father was a major player in the cartel, and she knew the ins and outs of the drug trade when she married “El Chapo” as a teenager, according to a federal complaint unsealed Monday.
She knew the specifics of her husband’s business, and acted as his go-between when he was on the run and in prison, delivering instructions and letters to his underlings, federal authorities said in the complaint.
Coronel played a key role as well in her husband’s daring 2015 escape from Mexico’s high-security Altipano prison, the feds allege. His bold breakout made international news and left Mexican authorities red-faced.
The drug lord disappeared through a 20-by-20-inch hole inside his prison cell shower and then walked away from the prison through an elaborate, ventilated 1-mile long tunnel with its own lighting that ended at a half-built house in a rural farm field nearby.
A cooperating witness told the feds he met with Coronel and Guzman’s four sons to discuss the drug lord’s plan to build the tunnel, according to the complaint.
“Guzman, through Coronel, asked Guzman’s sons to purchase a piece of land near Altiplano prison and instructed (the cooperating witness) to purchase a warehouse near Altiplano prison as well as firearms and an armored truck,” the complaint stated. “Those present also discussed the need to get a GPS watch to Guzman in prison in order to pinpoint his exact whereabouts so as to construct the tunnel with an entry point accessible to him.”
Chapo was recaptured six months later, and immediately got to work with his wife planning another escape, the complaint said.
She brought the cooperating witness $100,000 — the first part of $1 million that would have been used to purchase property near the prison. But “El Chapo” was transferred to a different prison, in Ciudad Juarez, scuttling their plans, the complaint alleged.
Coronel told the cooperating witness the cartel had funneled $2 million in bribes to the official who oversaw the Mexican prisons to try to get him sent back to Altiplano, but the transfer never happened, and he was extradited to the U.S. on Jan. 19, 2017, the complaint said.
She sat through his trial in Brooklyn federal court and was present when the drug kingpin was convicted in February 2019.
“I can only say that I have nothing to be ashamed of. I am not perfect, but I consider myself a good human being who has never hurt anyone intentionally,” she said on her Instagram account as the trial came to a close.
In Jul 2019, “El Chapo” was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years.
Coronel made an appearance on the VH1 reality show “Cartel Crews” later that year.
Guzman’s attorney Jeffrey Lichtman declined to comment Monday.
(New York Daily News staff writer Molly Crane-Newman contributed to this story.)
Source by news.yahoo.com