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Wife of El Chapo pleads guilty to charges that she helped run drug empire

Emma Coronel Aispuro El Chapo's wife
Posted at 9:01 AM, Jun 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-10 12:40:13-04

WASHINGTON — The wife of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has pleaded guilty to charges in the U.S. that alleged she helped her husband run his multibillion-dollar criminal empire.

Emma Coronel Aispuro pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to three criminal charges. She wore a green jail uniform and white face mask during the hearing as prosecutors described her conduct.

The charges include knowingly and willfully conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine. She also pleaded guilty to a money laundering conspiracy charge and engaging in transactions with a foreign narcotics trafficker.

Coronel Aispuro has been in custody since February when she was arrested at Dulles International Airport in Virginia.

Prosecutors say Guzman ran a notorious drug ring in Mexico for 25 years that included a smuggling operation into the United States. They claim his army of hitmen was under orders to kill anyone who got in his way.

Guzman was arrested and extradited to the U.S. after multiple escapes from Mexican jails. He was convicted on raft charges in 2019 and is expected to spend the rest of his life in prison.