Wife of Drug Lord El Chapo Gets Three Years In Prison

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The wife of Mexican drug cartel boss Joaquin Guzman, better known as El Chapo, has been sentenced to three years in prison in the United States. Prosecutors had demanded four years. She also has to pay $1.5 million.

 

Emma Coronel Aispuro, 32, a former beauty queen, was arrested at an airport in the US state of Virginia early this year. She was accused of aiding Guzman, 64, with his drug trade by relaying messages to him after his arrest in February 2014 and of aiding his escape.

She stood before the judge for, among other things, drug smuggling and money laundering as a kind of extension of her husband. US-born Coronel Aispuro confessed to being guilty in the summer. She admitted to helping her husband organize the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel and pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and money laundering. She also admitted to having played a role in her husband’s escape from a Mexican prison in 2015.

Coronel Aispuro addressed the judge for the verdict: “With all due respect, I address you today to express my sincere regret for all the harm I may have caused, and I ask you and all citizens of this country to forgive me .” She said she feared the judge would find that problematic because she is Guzman’s wife. “Perhaps that’s why you feel it necessary to be tougher on me, but I pray you to don’t.”

The federal prosecutor was quite lenient: “While the overall effect of the defendant’s conduct was significant, her actual role was minimal. Instead, the defendant acted mainly in support of her husband.” The prosecutor also noted that she “quickly accepted responsibility for her criminal behaviour”.

A judge in a federal court in Washington sentenced Coronel Aispuro to three years in prison. However, the nine months she already spent in pre-trial detention will be reduced. For his decision to impose three instead of four years in prison, the judge took into account that she would have to take care of the education of her nine-year-old twins “because their father will not be able to do that, given his lengthy incarceration”.

El Chapo was the head of the violent Sinaloa drug cartel. It was sentenced to life in prison in the US in 2019 for, among other things, leading a criminal organization, money laundering and dozens of murders.

Emma Coronel Aispuro married El Chapo in 2007, on her eighteenth birthday. Her father was also a lieutenant in the infamous cartel.

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