The wife of drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán was held without bail Tuesday as Washington, D.C., feds detailed how she played a crucial role in her husband’s notorious escape from a Mexican prison.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, Guzmán’s wife and mother to his 10-year-old daughters, appeared virtually inside a Washington, D.C., courtroom where federal prosecutors hit her with a litany of drug charges for her ties to the Sinaloa Cartel.
Coronel, who holds dual U.S.-Mexico citizenship, was arrested in Virginia at Dulles International Airport late Monday and charged with conspiring to smuggle cocaine, meth, heroin and marijuana into the U.S.
The charges are the first against Coronel, whose father, Inés Coronel Barreras, was a high-ranking leader in the cartel. Her uncle, Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel, was once in business with her infamous drug lord husband.
At her arraignment, which was held via telephone conference, Coronel said little as a Spanish translator communicated the proceedings.
“This defendant worked closely with the command and control structure of the Mexican drug trafficking organization known as the Sinaloa Cartel — most notably, with her husband, Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, the leader of the cartel, prior to his extradition and subsequent conviction in the United States,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Nardozzi.
On top of conspiring to smuggle and disseminate drugs in the U.S., Nardozzi cited Coronel’s critical involvement in her husband’s escapades.
Asking the judge to detain Coronel as her case plays out, Nardozzi cited her participation in her husband’s July 11, 2015, escape from Altiplano prison and her efforts to help Guzmán escape from custody a second time before his January 2017 extradition to Brooklyn.
“Additionally, your honor, the defendant has access to criminal associates who are members of the Sinaloa Cartel as well as financial means to generate a serious risk of flight,” Nardozzi said.
“Further, she has no ties to the Washington, D.C., area.”