Por Maibort Small | The United States Department of Justice reported Monday that the wife of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, was arrested today in Virginia on charges related to her alleged participation in international drug trafficking.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, a US and Mexican citizen, from Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico, was arrested today at Dulles International Airport. She is scheduled to appear for the first time in federal court tomorrow in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia via video conference.
According to court documents, Aispuro is accused of participating in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana for importation into the United States.
The lawsuit alleges that Coronel Aispuro conspired with others to assist Guzmán in his escape from the Altiplano on July 11, 2015. prison, located in Almoloya de Juárez, Mexico. After Guzmán was arrested again in Mexico in January 2016, Coronel Aispuro is alleged to have been involved in planning another prison break with others prior to Guzmán’s extradition to the United States in January 2017.
Guzmán Loera was convicted by a jury in the Eastern District of New York in 2019 for his role as leader of the Sinaloa Cartel.
Colonel Aispuro is charged in a criminal complaint with one count of conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, five kilograms or more of cocaine, 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana, and 500 grams or more of methamphetamine for illegal importation into the United States.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Deputy Director-in-Charge Steven D’Antuono of the FBI’s Washington Field Office made the announcement.
Emma Coronel is charged with conspiring to knowingly and intentionally distribute the following:
1) One (1) kilogram or more of a mixture or substance that contains a detectable amount of heroin, an Annex I controlled substance
2) Five (5) kilograms or more of a mixture and substance that contains a detectable amount of cocaine, a Schedule II controlled substance
3) One thousand (1000) kilograms or more of a mixture and substance that contains a detectable amount of marijuana, a Schedule I controlled substance
4) Five hundred (500) grams or more of a mixture or substance that contains a detectable amount of methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance, knowing and with the intention that such substance would be illegally imported into the United States. USC
According to the indictment, it was the FBI and the Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Section of the Criminal Division of that agency that investigated high-ranking members of the international drug trafficking organization known as the “Sinaloa Cartel,” which includes Joaquín el Chapo Guzmán, Ismael Zambada García, alias “El Mayo”, Dámaso López Nuñez alias, the “Licenciado”, Guzmán’s children, Iván Archivaldo Guzmán Salazar alias “Minor”, Jesús Alfredo Guzmán Salazar el “Tocayo”, Ovidio Guzmán López alias el “Ratón” and Joaquín Guzmán López alias “Guerro” and later, Emma Coronel.
According to the indictment, Coronel, who was born on July 3, 1989 in California, has been investigated by the FBI since she married Guzmán in 2007.
According to the investigation, Coronel married Guzmán in 2007. His father Inés Coronel Barreras had ties to El Chapo because he worked in the drug business.
Inés Coronel and her son, Inés Omar Coronel Aispuro were arrested in Sonora, Mexico, on April 13, 2013 on charges of narcotics and firearms.
On April 28, 2017, a Mexican court sentenced Inés Coronel to more than ten years in prison for marijuana trafficking and firearms violations, and her son, Inés Omar Coronel Aispuro was sentenced to more than ten years in prison for trafficking of marijuana.
According to Collaborating Witness 1, Coronel knew that Guzmán was a leader of the Sinaloa Cartel and was the one who coordinated the distribution of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, and marijuana for the purpose of illegally smuggling those narcotics into the United States for distribution.
In federal documents, it says that Collaborating Witness 1 said that Coronel also knew that Guzmán’s sons, Iván, Ovidio, Alfredo and Joaquín Ovidio, are also high-ranking members of the Sinaloa Cartel.
“The defendant, Emma Coronel grew up with knowledge of the drug trafficking industry and married Guzmán Loera when she was a teenager,” the lawsuit says.
The documents state that Coronel understands the drug trafficking business and knows and understands that the Sinaloa Cartel is the most prolific cartel in Mexico.
“Coronel was aware of multi-ton cocaine shipments, multi-kilogram heroin production, multi-ton marijuana shipments, and tons of methamphetamine shipments.”
Emma Coronel understood the drug proceeds that she controlled during her marriage to Guzmán. Furthermore, from 2012 to 2014, Emma Coronel transmitted messages on behalf of Guzmán to promote drug trafficking activities while El Chapo tried to avoid capture by Mexican authorities.
Once Chapo Guzmán was arrested in February 2014, Coronel continued to deliver messages that she received to her husband, during his visits to the prison, which were not monitored by Mexican authorities.
There is talk of a handwritten letter written and signed by Guzmán that was authenticated by several witnesses, including Collaborating Witness 1, and currently kept in the FBI’s evidence control.