Wife of notorious drug lord El Chapo readies guilty plea in US

El Chapo's wife and former beauty queen Emma Coronel Aispuro was arrested in February.

El Chapo's wife and former beauty queen Emma Coronel Aispuro was arrested in February. Photo: EPA

The wife of Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is due to plead guilty in Washington, where she has been accused of helping her husband run the Sinaloa cartel of smugglers, court records show.

It was not immediately clear what charges Emma Coronel Aispuro would plead guilty to in a virtual hearing before US District Court on Thursday.

The 31-year-old former beauty queen was arrested in February on allegations that she relayed messages to help Guzman traffic drugs from 2012 to early 2014, and continued delivering messages while visiting him in a Mexican prison following his February 2014 arrest.

Prosecutors also say she played a key role in Guzman’s 2015 escape from a Mexican prison.

Coronel was born in California and holds both US and Mexican citizenship.

She was charged with conspiring to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, one or more kilograms of heroin, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and 1000 or more kilograms of marijuana, as well as aiding and abetting.

If convicted on all federal charges, she could be sentenced to as long as life in prison and fined up to $US10 million.

Guzman, 64, was convicted in 2019 in New York of masterminding a multibillion-dollar drug enterprise for the Sinaloa cartel.

He was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years.

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