Wife of “El Chapo,” Emma Coronel Aispuro, arrested at Dulles Airport

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Helen Ehrlich, Editor-In-Chief

Emma Coronel Aispuro is the wife of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, drug trafficker and infamous repeated prison-escapee. Coronel Aispuro was arrested on February 22, 2021 at Dulles Airport (IAD) in Northern Virginia, for drug-trafficking. 

Coronel was “charged with participating in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana for importation into the U.S.,” according to a press release from the Department of Justice’s Office of Public Affairs. She reportedly helped Guzmán carry on the drug ring while he was in prison, assisted him with his 2015 escape and intended to orchestrate a third escape in 2017, but was prohibited by his extradition. He was convicted in 2019 and sentenced to life plus 30 years. He was also forced to release over $12 billion.

El Chapo' must not 'escape' again, U.S. prosecutor tells jury
Courtroom sketch during Guzman’s trial on January 30, 2019 – Image via REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

Coronel is a dual-citizen, born in California and raised in Mexico as the child of a Golden Triangle region leader. She was introduced to Guzmán as a 17-year-old pageant contestant, while he was 49. She became a more public figure during Guzmán’s 2018 trial. His mistress, Lucero Guadalupe Sánchez López, was also heavily involved in the infamous 2017 escape and the 2018-19 trial.  The drama of their dynamic was often compared to telenovelas and soap operas, occasionally overshadowing the violence that occurred and the courtroom drama itself.

The FBI’s Washington Field Office is currently in charge of the investigation. Back in 2019, prosecutors in New York had declined to comment on why she was not charged. Coronel is currently being held in Alexandria, Virginia, after a DC judge did not grant her bail, saying she is a flight risk. Prosecutors from the Justice Department’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section argued that she has “no direct ties” to the DC area but that her connections to the crime organization means she should remained detained.

Coronel now faces $10 million in fines and the possibility of life in prison.