The wife of notorious drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera has been arrested by U.S. federal law enforcement officials for her alleged involvement in international drug trafficking.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, was arrested at Dulles International Airport on charges including “participating in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana for importation into the U.S.,” the Department of Justice said in a statement. “Additionally, Coronel Aispuro is alleged to have conspired with others to assist Guzman in his July 11, 2015 escape from Altiplano prison, located in Almoloya de Juarez, Mexico.”
Guzman Loera was convicted by a jury in the Eastern District of New York in 2019 for his role as the head of the notorious Sinaloa Cartel, arguably the most powerful drug trafficking organization in the world.
The arrest was the culmination of interviews with hundreds of members, former members, and associates of the Sinaloa Cartel — including high-ranking informants — and the review of “thousands of intercepted wire and electronic communications relating to the Sinaloa Cartel’s drug trafficking activities,” according to charging documents.
Coronel Aispuro is a U.S. citizen and was born in California. Prosecutors said that she “grew up with knowledge of the narcotics trafficking industry” and married Guzman Loera when she was only a teenager. Prosecutors say that she “knows and understands the Sinaloa Cartel is the most prolific cartel in Mexico” and was “aware of multi-ton cocaine shipments, multi-kilo heroin production, multi-ton marijuana shipments, and ton quantity methamphetamine shipments.”
Authorities say that while Guzman Loera was on the run from authorities from 2012 to 2014, Coronel Aispuro was involved in communicating on his behalf in to help him “avoid capture by Mexican authorities.” The charging documents also highlight how prosecutors know that Coronel Aispuro was involved in the organization’s drug trafficking activities, which includes a letter in FBI possession that was written by Guzman Loera that gives instructions for an activity that prosecutors later linked Coronel Aispuro to. Other letters in the FBI’s possession have led prosecutors to believe that Coronel Aispuro was acting as a “go-between messenger” between Guzman Loera and his “lieutenants, associates, and sons.”
Guzman Loera’s sons garnered international attention a couple of years ago after Mexican law enforcement officials captured Ovidio Guzman. Shortly after the arrest happened, hundreds of cartel members stormed the city and essentially forced Mexico’s government to release Ovidio Guzman.
“Scenes of mayhem during the operation caused Lopez Obrador’s government considerable embarrassment in October as security forces briefly captured Ovidio in Culiacan, capital of western Sinaloa state, only to let him go hours later as security forces were overwhelmed by cartel forces,” Reuters reported. “Likely tipped off ahead of the operation, hundreds of heavily armed gunmen from the Sinaloa Cartel had poured into the city of a million people during an hours-long siege, erecting flaming roadblocks and unloading bursts of gunfire in the streets in a coordinated effort to free the younger Guzman.”
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