Emma Coronel Aispuro, the wife of infamous drug cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, was arrested by U.S. law enforcement agents on Monday and is being held on federal drug trafficking charges. Aispuro was taken into custody at the Dulles International Airport in Virginia near Washington, D.C., and is being held for a scheduled court appearance on Tuesday.
In court documents filed in federal court, Coronel Aispuro is charged with participating in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana to be imported into the United States. Prosecutors also allege that she conspired with others to assist her husband, Guzmán Loera, escape from a Mexican prison in 2015.
Teenage Bride Of A Cartel Leader
Guzmán Loera was convicted by a jury in New York in 2019 for his role as the leader of the Mexican drug trafficking operation known as the Sinaloa cartel. He is currently serving a sentence of life plus 30 years in federal prison. Guzmán Loera and Coronel Aispuro met in Mexico in 2007 and were married while she was still a teenager, according to court documents. Prosecutors allege that Coronel Aispuro’s father is also a member of the Sinaloa drug cartel.
Coronel Aispuro allegedly relayed messages between Guzmán Loera and the cartel while he was in a Mexican federal prison. In an affidavit, FBI Special Agent Eric S. McGuire wrote that Coronel Aispuro “knows and understands the Sinaloa Cartel is the most prolific cartel in Mexico” and “was aware of multi-ton cocaine shipments, multi-kilo heroin production, multi-ton marijuana shipments, and ton quantity methamphetamine shipments.”
Coronel Aispuro also “understood the drug proceeds she controlled during her marriage to Guzman were derived from these shipments,” the agent wrote in his affidavit.
Federal prosecutors also allege that Coronel Aispuro helped Guzmán Loera escape from the Altiplano prison in Almoloya de Juarez, Mexico in July 2015. After he was arrested in Mexico the following January, Coronel Aispuro also plotted another prison escape for Guzmán Loera, who was extradited to the United States to face federal drug trafficking charges in January 2017.
While Guzmán Loera was on trial for federal drug charges in 2019, Coronel Aispuro told the New York Times that “I admire him as the human being that I met, and the one that I married.”
Photo courtesy of the Alexandria Adult Detention Center via AP
Cartel Wife Has Family In Mexico And The US
Coronel Aispuro, 31, is a dual U.S.-Mexican citizen with family ties in Southern California and the Mexican state of Sinaloa. A former beauty queen more than 30 years younger than Guzmán Loera, the couple has a pair of twin daughters who were born in 2011.
Mike Vigil, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s former chief of international operations, said Coronel Aispuro “has been involved in the drug trade since she was a little girl. She knows the inner workings of the Sinaloa cartel.”
Vigil also noted that Coronel Aispuro may be willing to cooperate with further investigations of the Sinaloa cartel.
“She has a huge motivation, and that is her twins,” Vigil said.
Aispuro is scheduled to make her first appearance at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia via video conference on Tuesday.