The spouse 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 Division of Justice mentioned.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, a daily attendee at her husband’s trial two years in the past, was arrested at Dulles Worldwide Airport in northern Virginia, and is anticipated to look in a federal courtroom 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 US as Sinaloa’s chief, the place prosecutors mentioned he amassed energy by means of murders and wars with rival cartels.
He was sentenced in July 2019 to life in jail plus 30 years, which the sentencing decide 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 criticism with conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines for illegal importation into the US.
Prosecutors mentioned Coronel additionally conspired to help 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 change into strained when the Justice Division introduced drug prices in October towards former Mexican Protection Minister Salvador Cienfuegos.
The Justice Division unexpectedly dropped that case the next month and let Cienfuegos return to Mexico, in a bid to revive belief within the international locations’ safety ties.
Cienfuegos was exonerated two months later when Mexico dropped its personal case.
Tomas Guevara, an investigator in safety points on the Autonomous College of Sinaloa, mentioned Coronel’s arrest may be a part of a “stress technique” to immediate cooperation from Guzman.
A Mexican official aware of Coronel’s case, who requested to not be recognized, mentioned her arrest gave the impression to be solely a U.S. initiative, and that Coronel was not needed in Mexico.