Emma Coronel Aispuro, the wife of “Chapo” Guzmán, was tried in the United States accused of complicity with her husband in drug trafficking cases. After pleading guilty, she received on Tuesday, November 30, three years in prison.
U.S. prosecutors on Tuesday asked the judge in charge, Rudolph Contreras, to sentence the wife of imprisoned Mexican drug trafficker Joaquín “Chapo” Guzmán to at least four years in prison, reported Reuters.
Contreras accepted the defendant’s guilt but imposed a shorter prison term, arguing that her role was a small part of a much larger criminal organization.
As part of her plea deal, she also admitted to conspiring to help her husband escape in 2015 from Altiplano, a maximum-security Mexican prison, from where he fled through a sci-fi movie-style tunnel.
The prosecutors’ idea is that the judge, in addition to sentencing her to prison, will fine her close to $1.5 million.
“The defendant committed a serious crime against the United States,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memorandum. “Given the adverse impact that drug trafficking has on society and the serious detrimental effects of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana in communities, it is important that the Court impose a sentence that deters others from undermining the rule of law.”
Coronel, who was born in the United States and married Guzman as a teenager, was arrested at Dulles International Airport outside Washington in February.
The sentencing memorandum released by prosecutors state that Coronel was not only Guzman’s accomplice, but also “knowingly benefited in multiple ways from the proceeds of Guzman’s drug trafficking activity” while the drug trafficker was in prison in the U.S.
“In addition, the defendant lived, owned and controlled residences paid for by drug trafficking proceeds, which included both residential and commercial properties,” the memorandum adds, specifying that she earned income by renting such property.
For the time being, the former Sinaloa Cartel leader’s partner remains under solitary confinement in a Virginia prison, where she is forced to stay in a cell for 20 hours a day. Her twin daughters, 9, born in California, like her, have not visited her because of pandemic-related restrictions, judicial sources reported.
Meanwhile, “Chapo” Guzmán, 61, the former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, is accused of trafficking 155 tons of cocaine to the United States over a quarter of a century and of being the protagonist of two Mexican prison escapes.
He was extradited almost two years ago and faces a life sentence.
He is only visited by his lawyers in the Manhattan jail where he is isolated 23 hours a day, as well as by his seven-year-old daughters, all through a glass partition.