The wife of Mexican drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman is expected to plead guilty this week to federal charges of helping him run his cartel, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.
Emma Coronal Aispuro, a 31-year-old former beauty queen with dual Mexican-U.S. citizenship, was arrested at the Dulles International Airport in February.
Known as the ‘Kardashian of Sinaloa,’ prosecutors accused her of working with her husband to help run the Sinaloa drug cartel.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, will plead guilty this week to helping her husband Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman run his drug empire, The New York Times reported on Tuesday. He was convicted by a New York court in February 2019 and is serving a life sentence in Colorado
Her husband, Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, is seen in February 2014 after he was presented before the Mexican press, as proof of his arrest. He would later escape – allegedly with his wife’s help
Coronel cultivated a substantial social media following thanks to the high-profile trial
Prosecutors say Coronel also conspired in Guzman’s famous July 2015 escape from the Altiplano prison in Mexico through a mile-long tunnel dug from his cell.
Damaso Lopez, one of Guzman’s former lieutenants, testified that he met several times with Coronel and Guzman’s sons to plan the drug boss’ escape from the Altiplano prison. And he said Coronel had relayed messages from her husband.
Coronel was unrepentant.
‘What I can only say about that is that I have nothing to be ashamed of,’ she wrote. ‘I am not perfect but I consider myself a good human being and I have never hurt anyone intentionally.’
Her plea agreement with prosecutors in Washington does not require her to cooperate with the U.S. authorities, the person familiar with the case told The New York Times.
One person with extensive knowledge of the family and the case told DailyMail.com they doubted she was not cooperating, adding: ‘She knows enough’.
Guzman, whose nickname ‘El Chapo’ means ‘Shorty’, is seen on January 19, 2017, when he was extradited from Mexico to the United States. He was handed over on the last day of Barack Obama’s presidency
Guzman himself is unlikely to be affected, as the 63-year-old was convicted in February 2019 in a high-profile Brooklyn trial of masterminding a multibillion dollar drug enterprise for his drug operation.
He was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years, and locked up in the federal Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.
His sons, however, may well be concerned, a source told DailyMail.com.
Joaquin Guzman Lopez, 36, and Ovidio Guzman Lopez, 30, have both been indicted by the U.S. authorities.
Ivan, 40, and Jesus, 38, are also believed to be heavily involved in the running of the cartel, now that their father is behind bars.
So too might Ismael ‘El Mayo’ Zambada, the 73-year-old right-hand man of Guzman. El Mayo, unlike Guzman, has never been caught and is almost a mythical figure among law enforcement trying to track him down.
His son, Ismael Zambada Imperial, 35, admitted in a plea agreement in San Diego at the end of April to being a major coordinator in the trafficking operation, including importing and distributing tons of cocaine, heroin and marijuana from Mexico into the U.S.
Coronel is expected to appear in court in Washington DC on Thursday and enter her plea, the paper reported.
If convicted of all charges, she faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a fine of $10 million.
Coronel is seen, left, at her husband’s trial and right, on February 23, appearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robin Meriweather in Washington DC
Coronel is seen outside court in Brooklyn with two of her husband’s lawyers, Eduardo Balarezo (left) and William Purpura (right)
Coronel is seen with their twin daughters, Maria Joaquina and Emali, outside court in New York in June 2018. During the trial Guzman would frequently wave and blow kisses at the trio
Guzman waves at his wife in a court sketch during a sentencing hearing, on July 17, 2019
Coronel, mother of his twin daughters Maria Joaquina and Emali, was a constant presence at the trial, using it to showcase her dramatic outfits. She later announced she was launching a fashion line.
During the trial jurors heard how Coronel’s father and brother both worked for Guzman, head of the Sinaloa Cartel.
Her father, Inés Coronel Barreras, served as one of Guzman’s top lieutenants before his arrest in Mexico in 2013.
Her brother, Inés Omar Coronel, is also behind bars for having worked with the cartel.
Coronel, who is Guzman’s third or possibly fourth wife, met her future husband when she was 17 and named beauty queen at a Sinaloa coffee and guava festival
Coronel has turned herself into an Instagram star, sharing photos like this one of her on vacation in Venice after her husband was sentenced
Coronel is his third, or possibly fourth, wife and famously caught his eye as a teenage beauty queen at a Sinaloa event.
She began participating in beauty pageants at a young age, and at age 17 was named beauty queen at the Coffee and Guava Festival.
El Chapo’s wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro (pictured), 31, is pictured after her February arrest
At a ball to celebrate her coronation, she met Guzman, who was 51 at the time.
Coronel left her boyfriend to become his wife, and they agreed to marry the day she legally became an adult, just a few months after they met.
When asked about her husband’s business, she would reply: ‘I would prefer not to answer that.’
She said in 2018: ‘I am not aware that he deals drugs. I’m in love with him.’
Yet U.S. prosecutors in court documents alleged that she was well aware of his dealings.
A letter allegedly written by Guzman to an associate regarding heroin trafficking was included in the warrant for her arrest.
‘The mother of the twins will tell you and my sons something. Please be attentive compadre. She will explain,’ the document read.
While he awaited sentencing, she said she lived off her own businesses.
‘I can’t tell you much about them, only that they are not illicit. For example, I own land that I inherited from my dad,’ she said in 2018.