The wife of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the imprisoned former chief of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel, was arrested on Monday over her alleged involvement in worldwide drug trafficking, the US Department of Justice mentioned.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, an everyday attendee at her husband’s trial two years in the past, was arrested at Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia, and is anticipated to seem in a federal court docket in Washington on Tuesday.
A lawyer for Coronel couldn’t instantly be recognized. It was unclear why Coronel, a twin U.S.-Mexico citizen, was within the Washington space.
Coronel’s arrest got here two years after a celebrated trial in Brooklyn the place Guzman, now 63, was convicted of trafficking tons of medication into the United States as Sinaloa’s chief, the place prosecutors mentioned he amassed energy by way of murders and wars with rival cartels.
He was sentenced in July 2019 to life in jail plus 30 years, which the sentencing choose mentioned mirrored Guzman’s “overwhelmingly evil” actions. Guzman was despatched to ADX Florence in Colorado, the nation’s most safe “Supermax” jail.
Coronel was charged in a one-count grievance with conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines for illegal importation into the United States.
Prosecutors mentioned Coronel additionally conspired to assist her husband in his July 2015 escape from the Altiplano jail in Mexico, when he dug a mile-long tunnel from his cell, and started plotting a second escape following his seize by Mexican authorities in January 2016.
U.S. and Mexican efforts to battle drug trafficking had turn into strained when the Justice Department introduced drug charges in October in opposition to former Mexican Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos.
The Justice Department unexpectedly dropped that case the next month and let Cienfuegos return to Mexico, in a bid to revive belief within the nations’ safety ties.
Cienfuegos was exonerated two months later when Mexico dropped its personal case.
Tomas Guevara, an investigator in safety points on the Autonomous University of Sinaloa, mentioned Coronel’s arrest is perhaps half of a “pressure strategy” to immediate cooperation from Guzman.
A Mexican official acquainted with Coronel’s case, who requested to not be recognized, mentioned her arrest seemed to be solely a U.S. initiative, and that Coronel was not wished in Mexico.