Drug Trafficking in Mexico: Emma Coronel, El Chapo's Wife, Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering in the US | International

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Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, has pleaded guilty this Thursday to three federal charges related to the multimillion-dollar drug trafficking empire led by her husband, Joaquín El Chapo Guzman. The former beauty queen admitted this morning her involvement in the criminal network in a federal court in the city of Washington, as part of an agreement with prosecutors. The US authorities accused her in February of collaborating with the kingpin in drug trafficking and money laundering. Prosecutors maintained that the defendant "worked closely with the command and control structure" of the Sinaloa cartel.

Coronel was detained in February at Dulles International Airport, forty minutes from downtown Washington, and has been in prison ever since. After two years of investigations, the United States Department of Justice charged her with charges of trafficking cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana, conspiracy, money laundering and participating in transactions with a foreign drug trafficker.

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Guzmán was sentenced in 2019 in a New York court to life in prison for drug trafficking, plus 30 years in prison for gun violence and 20 for money laundering. Since then, he has lived in the Supermax prison in Colorado, the safest federal prison in the United States. According to documentation presented at the trial, El Chapo's wife was one of those who orchestrated the boss's escape from the Mexican high-security prison of El Altiplano, in 2015, through a 1.6-kilometer tunnel that connected the shower. from his cell with a safe house. The woman was plotting to help him escape once more, in 2017, by bribing a senior prison official.

It is not common for drug traffickers' partners to be prosecuted, but prosecutors in the El Chapo trial presented significant evidence that Coronel, the mother of two of the drug trafficker's 10 children, was significantly involved in her husband's criminal activity. Documents presented by US authorities show that El Chapo's loyal wife transmitted his orders from 2012 to 2014 to carry out drug shipments, in addition to helping him evade capture for years.

The former beauty queen from Sinaloa, of dual Mexican and American nationality, was 17 when she met El Chapo, 51, at a party on a ranch. He came from a family with a tradition in the drug business and he knew exactly who the kingpin was. Soon after, she became the third wife of the master of the largest drug trafficking network in the world. “I am not aware that he is dealing in drugs. I'm in love with him, ”she used to say in interviews. What some media call the Kardashian de Sinaloa is usually a recurring character in Mexican tabloids.

Coronel has been characterized by his loyalty to the test of everything, but his speech of total ignorance about El Chapo's criminal businesses collapsed during the 11 months that his trial lasted in New York. Prosecutors demonstrated, among other things, that the woman took advantage of her conjugal visitation privileges when El Chapo was in jail to act as an emissary with the team that planned her escape in 2015. Two years later, when they again arrested the capo, Colonel She paid a prison official two million dollars to transfer her husband to Altiplano, the prison from which she had first escaped. The plan was not carried out and soon after, El Chapo was extradited to the United States where he will live until the last day behind bars.

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