- Emma Coronel Espuro, 32, was sentenced on Tuesday to three years in federal prison and four years of supervised release on charges of drug trafficking and money laundering.
- Coronel, a dual American and Mexican citizen, has two children with Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.
- In June, the former beauty queen pleaded guilty to federal charges of helping her husband run the Sinaloa cartel.
WASHINGTON – The wife of Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán was sentenced Tuesday to three years in federal prison and four years of supervised release on charges of drug trafficking and money laundering.
Emma Coronel Espuro, 32, agreed in June to plead guilty to federal charges of helping her husband run a drug cartel. The former beauty queen has twin daughters with the infamous Sinaloa cartel boss.
Coronel, a dual American and Mexican national, was arrested in February at Virginia’s Dulles International Airport and charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana in the United States.
The Justice Department wrote, “She conspired to defraud the proceeds of that drug trafficking and engaged in dealings and transactions in the property of her husband, Guzmán Loera, who was recognized by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control as a significant foreign narcotics.” Trafficker was named.” in a statement.
Coronel was also ordered to forfeit approximately $1.5 million.
According to US lawyers, Coronel played a “critical role” in helping her husband escape like Houdini from a Mexican prison in 2015.
The Sinaloa cartel boss escaped from a maximum-security prison in July 2015 by slipping through a hole in the shower area of his cell.
A 1½-foot-by-1½-foot gap in the shower floor led to a custom-built tunnel about 30 feet under the Altiplano prison complex. The tunnel was 5 feet high and about 3 feet wide and was equipped with a ventilation system.
Coronel assisted in the purchase of a property near the prison and provided Guzmán with a watch that contained a GPS tracking device, allowing co-conspirators to dig a tunnel from that nearby property to Guzmán’s cell.
According to a witness who is now working with the US government, Coronel helped organize the construction of the elaborate escape tunnel.
The 2015 escape was the second time that Mexican authorities lost custody of Guzmán.
The farmhand-turned-powerful cartel leader escaped prison for the first time in 2001. He managed to escape imprisonment for 13 years.
After escaping for more than six months, Guzmán was again captured by Mexican authorities in 2016.
Following his 2016 arrest, witnesses told US officials that Coronel provided $2 million to a Mexican officer to oversee Guzmán’s transfer from one prison to another.
According to US lawyers, Coronel ordered the relocation so as to facilitate a new escape. The drug boss was never transferred. A year later, he was extradited to the United States.
After a three-month trial in 2019 in which Coronel participated, the narco gangster was sentenced to life in prison and an additional 30 years and ordered to forfeit $12.6 billion.