El Chapo's wife pleads guilty to federal drug trafficking charges
June 10, 2021 at 17:43
Emma Coronel Aispuro, wife of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, is surrounded by security as she arrives at federal court on July 17, 2019, in New York City.
CNN —The wife of Mexican drug boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman pleaded guilty Thursday to drug trafficking and money laundering charges related to her husband’s narcotics empire.
“Are you entering this plea because you are guilty and for no other reason?” Contreras asked Coronel, for each of the three counts.
Coronel was arrested in February on international drug trafficking charges at Dulles International Airport and remained detained pending trial.
Her attorney, Jeffrey Lichtman, said before the hearing that Coronel – who married Guzman in 2007 – hoped to some day get back to their young twin daughters.
“She’s happy to take responsibility … (to) get on with her life.”00:57 - Source: CNN Who is 'El Chapo'?
Coronel often served as a go between for her husband and cartel associates while he was incarcerated in Mexico, he said.
Nardozzi also said there was evidence Coronel facilitated the trafficking of thousands of kilograms of narcotics, including cocaine, heroin and marijuana.
The complaint at the time of Coronel’s arrest cited her alleged involvement in Guzman’s 2015 escape from a Mexican prison.
The kingpin dramatically escaped on a motorcycle through a tunnel that had been dug to his cell at the Altiplano maximum security federal prison.
Coronel brought messages from Guzman to the group that planned the breakout after visiting him in prison, according to testimony at his trial.
In Guzman’s trial, a cooperating witness testified that Coronel and others worked together to coordinate details of Guzman’s last escape.