The wife of the notorious drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman pleaded guilty to helping her husband run his multi-billion dollar cartel.
Emma Coronel Aispuro made the plea today during a virtual hearing in federal court in Washington DC.
The 31-year-old former beauty queen admitted to distributing illegal drugs – cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana -, laundering money and supporting her husband’s drug cartel in Sinaloa.
As part of their plea agreement, Coronel also admitted to plotting in 2015 to help her husband escape a Mexican prison through a mile-long tunnel to his cell.
She could face life imprisonment on drug-related charges alone, but her deal with prosecutors is likely to result in a lighter sentence.
Coronel will be convicted on September 15.
Until then, she will remain in custody without any ties.
Coronel was wearing a green prison uniform and was speaking through an interpreter during the hearing when her attorney told district judge Rudolph Contreras that his client would plead guilty.
She previously pleaded not guilty to the allegations linking her to the crimes of her convicted husband.
Coronel was arrested at Dulles International Airport in Virginia in February.
Guzman and Coronel, 31, have been together since at least 2007 and have twin daughters who were born in 2011.
She is a former beauty queen who is more than 30 years younger than her husband.
As the most powerful drug lord in the world, Guzman led the Sinaloa cartel, which was responsible for smuggling cocaine and other drugs around the world during his 25-year rule.
El Chapo was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2019 and is held in “Alcatraz of the Rockies” in Superman Prison ADX Florence in Colorado.
The 63-year-old was found guilty of drug trafficking and money laundering in New York, among other things.