By Sonia Moghe, CNN
[Breaking news update, published at 11:10 a.m. ET]
Emma Coronel Aispuro, the wife of Mexican drug boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, pleaded guilty Thursday to three drug trafficking charges related to her husband’s narcotics empire.
She entered her plea in a federal court in Washington nearly two years after Guzman was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years for engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise as well as drug trafficking and firearms charges as leader of the Sinaloa Cartel.
[Previous story, published at 12:53 a.m. ET]
The wife of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who was a regular fixture at his federal trial, will plead guilty Thursday to being a “minimal participant” in helping her husband run his drug empire, The New York Times reported.
She was charged in a one-count criminal complaint with conspiring to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, five kilograms or more of cocaine, 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana and, 500 grams or more of methamphetamines for unlawful importation into the country, according to a news release from the Justice Department.
The complaint also cited her alleged involvement in Guzman’s 2015 escape from a Mexican prison.
Coronel was a regular fixture at Guzman’s 2019 Brooklyn federal trial, appearing nearly every day for the two-month-long trial. Guzman, who formerly ran the Sinaloa drug cartel, was convicted on 10 counts including engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, conspiracy to launder narcotics proceeds, international distribution of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and other drugs, and use of firearms. He was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years, and is currently being held in Colorado’s Supermax prison. They are parents to twin girls.
In Guzman’s trial, a cooperating witness testified that Coronel and others worked together to coordinate details of Guzman’s last escape from prison in Mexico and that Coronel would often relay messages from Guzman in prison to others.
The New York Times reported that as part of Coronel’s plea, she would not be required to cooperate with US authorities.