The wife of Mexican drug boss Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán has been sentenced to three years in prison for helping her husband run the Sinaloa Cartel.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, a former beauty queen who married Guzmán on her 18th birthday, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and money laundering in June to helping her husband run his operation.
The 31-year-old had been arrested at the Dulles International Airport in Virginia in February, two years after her husband was sentenced to life in prison.
Judge Rudolph Conteras imposed a $300 special assessment fine for each of the three counts to which she pleaded guilty.
As part of her plea deal, Coronel turned over $1.5million in illicit proceeds from Guzmán’s illegal operations. She admitted to helping him move a whopping 450 kilograms of cocaine, 90 kilograms of heroin and nearly 90,000 kilograms of marijuana into the US.
Addressing the court on Tuesday, Coronel expressed deep remorse for her involvement and accepted full responsibility. She then begged the judge to consider her nine-year-old twins who are already growing up with one parent when imposing his sentence, according to CNN.
Despite smuggling such large quantities of drugs, the court still considered her a ‘minimal participant’ in a much larger criminal enterprise, which is why she received a relatively short sentence.
Prosecutors asked for 48 months in prison, five years of supervised release and the $1.5million forfeiture because they consider her role to be minimal and in support of her husband and because she accepted responsibility quickly after her arrest.
Judge Conteras went below their recommendation, considering those factors in addition to the fact that she met Guzmán when she was a minor and married him a year later at 18 years old.
At the end of her hearing, Conteras said: ‘Good luck. Hope you raise your twins in a different environment than what you have experienced until today. Good luck.’
The judge will later recommend where Coronel, a dual US and Mexican citizen, serves her time. The defense asked if it was possible she be imprisoned near Los Angeles where she lives with her daughters.
She pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine for importation into the US; conspiracy to launder monetary instruments; and violating the Kingpin Act by engaging in transactions and dealings in property of her husband, a significant foreign narcotics trafficker designated by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Department of the Treasury.
Guzmán was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years in 2019 for engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise as well as drug trafficking and firearms charges as leader of the murderous Sinaloa Cartel. He is being held at a prison in Florence, Colorado.
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