The US Department of Justice had called for four years in prison against Emma Coronel Aispura. Former beauty queen, influencer, apprentice designer and wife of Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin Guzman alias “El Chapo”, who pleaded guilty to participation in the trafficking of the powerful Sinaloa cartel was finally sentenced, Tuesday, November 30, by Rudolph Contreras, US federal judge to three years in prison.
The magistrate said the Mexican-American, now 32, was very young when she married “El Chapo” and cooperated with authorities after her arrest in February. The young woman, in a dark pantsuit, her face partly hidden by a black mask, did not react to the pronouncement of the sentence.
Emma Coronel pleaded guilty in June to three counts: participation in drug trafficking, money laundering and transactions with a foreign drug trafficker. In addition to forty-eight months of detention, the team of prosecutors in charge of the case had requested on November 18 that she be sentenced to five years of supervised release and the payment of 1.5 million dollars.
No protected witness status
His lawyer, Mariel Colon, had denied that his client had cooperated with prosecutors to see his sentence reduced. She also denied that she would benefit from protected witness status. “His daughters are in Mexico and we know very well what happens to those who cooperate and to their families”, she explained to Univision television, in reference to the reprisals of the cartels.
Emma Coronel was accused of having served as” intermediate “ between “El Chapo” and his associates and for having participated in the management of the Sinaloa cartel – one of the most powerful in the world – once “El Chapo” was imprisoned in Mexico.
Emma Coronel Aispuro married Joaquin Guzman, 32 years her senior, in 2007 and had twins with him. Between her marriage and her arrest in February, she benefited “In many ways” and ” informed “ profits from her husband’s trafficking, according to the prosecution.
According to the latter, she admitted to having knowledge of the importation into the United States of at least 450 kg of cocaine, 90 kg of heroin, 45 kg of methamphetamine and 90 tonnes of marijuana. She also, according to prosecutors, helped “El Chapo” escape in 2015 from a Mexican prison.
The drug trafficker had then escaped through a tunnel of a kilometer and a half, hidden under the shower of his cell and equipped with rails, inflicting a scathing snub to the Mexican authorities. But prosecutors note that she did not have a criminal record prior to her arrest and that she has “Quickly accepted his responsibilities”.
Joaquin Guzman was considered the most powerful drug trafficker in the world until his arrest in 2016 and his extradition to the United States in 2017. Sentenced in July 2019 to life imprisonment after a high-security trial in New York, he is serving his sentence in a high security Colorado prison but has appealed. Emma Coronel Aispuro had attended her husband’s trial almost daily.