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Politics

U.S. Arrests Chapo’s Wife for Allegedly Aiding Kingpin’s Escape

U.S. Arrests Chapo’s Wife for Allegedly Aiding Kingpin’s Escape

  • Emma Coronel detained on drug charges, Justice Department says
  • Mexico’s Joaquin Guzman is serving life sentence in U.S.
Emma Coronel Aispuro in July 2019.
Emma Coronel Aispuro in July 2019. Photographer: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Emma Coronel Aispuro in July 2019.
Photographer: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

U.S. authorities arrested the wife of imprisoned narcotics kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman on Monday on charges of aiding her husband’s daring 2015 prison escape as well as trafficking in illegal drugs.

Emma Coronel Aispuro was arrested in Virginia at Dulles International Airport and is scheduled to make her initial appearance in federal court on Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.

Coronel is charged with participating in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana for importation into the U.S., according to the statement. She also allegedly helped plan Guzman’s 2015 escape through a tunnel from the maximum-security Altiplano prison in the State of Mexico. The tunnel was a mile long and equipped with lighting, ventilation and a motorcycle on rails.

Guzman was sentenced to life in a U.S. prison without parole in July 2019 after he was recaptured and then sent to the U.S. for trial.

The Justice Department said in the statement that Coronel was “alleged to have engaged in planning yet another prison escape with others prior to Guzman’s extradition to the U.S. in January 2017.”

Read More: Mexico Slammed by U.S. After Documents Released in Drug Case

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s government has tested relations with U.S. authorities over the last few months, by passing a law that restricts the activity of U.S. agents in Mexico. In addition, Mexican prosecutors refused to charge the nation’s former Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos, who had been arrested in the U.S. on drug trafficking charges and was then let go to be investigated in his home country.

Mexico made public evidence in the case that U.S. prosecutors said had been sent to the country in confidence.

Coronel, 31, a dual U.S.-Mexican citizen, will appear Tuesday at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.