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Wife of drug kingpin 'El Chapo' arrested in Virginia on US drug charges

Patrick J. McDonnell, Sonja Sharp, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

But that plan never came to fruition. Guzmán was extradited to the United States in January 2017.

A U.S. District judge in New York sentenced Guzmán to life in prison in July 2019 after a jury found him guilty of drug-trafficking, money laundering and conspiracy to commit murder.

Prosecutors also sought an order demanding Guzman turn over more than $12.6 billion in assets — their approximation of his drug earnings over the decades. His lawyers called the request preposterous and said he didn’t have anything close to that.

With her husband in U.S. custody, Coronel has been a frequent poster on Instagram and occasional visitor to the United States.

In September 2018, as Guzmán and his lawyers prepared for trial in New York, photos showed up on Instagram detailing a birthday party that Coronel threw for the couple’s twin daughters, who were born in 2011 at Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, California.

The decadent bash featured carnival rides, hundreds of pink balloons and a set featuring gold chandeliers and a rose-hued throne.


Coronel wore 4-inch heels and posed in front of a fake pink mansion and a long table covered with flowers, desserts and a towering birthday cake.

The next year, as Guzmán, 64, awaited sentencing, Coronel said on Instagram that she was launching a fashion line inspired by her husband’s style. His image — square jaw, beady eyes, black mustache — is emblazoned on ball caps, T-shirts and posters in Mexico, especially in his home state of Sinaloa, where many regard him as a hero and Robin Hood figure who helped the poor.

In court, Coronel was equal parts spectacle and enigma. She spent almost every day of her husband’s trial in the second row of the gallery, silent but impossible to miss.

By opening statements, the pair had not had any direct contact in two years. Still, her petition to be allowed to hug him once before the trial began was denied.


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