WASHINGTON, November 30, 2021, (Reuters) – U.S. prosecutors will ask a judge on Tuesday to sentence the wife of jailed Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán to four years in prison after she pleaded guilty to aiding the drug cartel in Sinaloa.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, 32 years old, pleaded guilty in June to three counts of conspiring to distribute illegal drugs, conspiring to launder money and of engaging in financial dealings with the Sinaloa drug cartel.
Federal prosecutors on Tuesday also intend to ask U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras to order Coronel to forfeit $1.5 million as part of her sentence. She is scheduled to appear in federal court in Washington, D.C., at 12 p.m. EST (1700 GMT).
“The defendant committed a serious crime against the United States,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo. “Given the adverse impact that drug trafficking has on society and the serious detrimental effects of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana in communities, it is important that the Court impose a sentence that deters others from undermining the rule of law.”
Coronel, a U.S.-born former beauty queen who married Guzman while she was a teenager, was arrested at Dulles International Airport outside Washington in February.
As part of her plea agreement with prosecutors, Coronel admitted to acting as a courier between Guzman and other members of the Sinaloa cartel while he was being held in Mexico’s Altiplano prison following his 2014 arrest.
Guzman used those communications to plan his 2015 escape from the prison, north of Toluca, Mexico, through an underground tunnel built by the cartel leading to the shower in his cell.
The drug lord was recaptured in January 2016 and extradited one year later to the United States.
He was convicted in February 2019 of drug trafficking, conspiracy, kidnapping, murder and other charges, and later sentenced to life in prison.