Emma Coronel Aispuro, the wife of popular Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman appeared in court for the first time on Tuesday following charges of aiding the husband run his drug business.
The 31 year old Emma Coronel who is also a former beauty queen was arrested on Monday at the Dulles International Airport.
According to authorities, Coronel was responsible for relaying messages in a bid to help Guzman El Chapo traffic his drugs from 2012 to 2014. Further, she kept relaying the same messages when she visited him in a prison in Mexico after being arrested in February 2014.
They also claimed that Coronel was at the center of conspiracy that saw El Chapo escape from Mexico’s Altiplano prison in 2015 using a mile-long tunnel that was dug from his cell.
Coronel may face a potential fine of $10 million and face life imprisonment if convicted on all the charges levelled against her.
The 63 year old Guzman was convicted in February 2019 in a high-profiled Brooklyn trial of masterminding a multibillion dollar drug enterprise dubbed Sinaloa cartel. The conviction saw him get a life imprisonment and another 30 years in the federal Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.
Since October, Coronel is one of the highest-profiled Mexican that the US has arrested on drug charges since the detention of former Mexican Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos.
The Justice Department unexpectedly dropped the Cienfuegos case the following month and let him return to Mexico. Mexico dropped its own case against him in January.
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A Justice Department official said the case against Coronel is part of a long history of going after drug trafficking, and it is not reflective of a new push by the Biden administration.
Emma Coronel, a dual U.S.-Mexico citizen born in California, was charged with conspiring with her husband El Chapo to distribute marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine for unlawful importation into America.