El Chapo's wife ordered held without bail following international drug trafficking arrest

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The wife of notorious longtime drug kingpin “El Chapo” on Tuesday was ordered held without bond pending trial, one day after she was arrested at Dulles International Airport for alleged international drug trafficking.

Emma Coronel Aispuro, a 31-year-old dual U.S.-Mexican citizen and the wife of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera appeared via video conference for the 12 p.m. arraignment in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, in Washington, D.C. The judge’s order came after Coronel Aispuro’s attorney, Jeffrey Licthman, said he would consent to her temporary detention, while maintaining their right to request a future bond hearing. 

Coronel Aispuro spoke only briefly – with a quick, “Si,” and “No,” when prompted by the judge during the hearing. She faces a charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana for importation into the U.S., the Justice Department said.

She faces a minimum of 10 years in prison if convicted, with a maximum of life in prison and a $10 million fine.

EL CHAPO’S WIFE ARRESTED ON DRUG TRAFFICKING CHARGES

Emma Coronel Aispuro (Alexandria Sheriff's Office)

Emma Coronel Aispuro (Alexandria Sheriff’s Office)
(Alexandria Sheriff’s Office)

The former beauty queen was accused of helping her husband run his multibillion-dollar cartel and plot his audacious escape from a Mexican prison in 2015.

Guzman, with whom Coronel Aispuro has two children, is the longtime head of the Sinaloa drug cartel who is now serving life in prison. His two dramatic prison escapes in Mexico fed into a legend that he and his family were all but untouchable – until he was extradited to the United States in 2017.

EL CHAPO ADMITTED WOMEN WERE HIS ONLY ADDICTION

Court papers charge that Coronel worked with Guzman’s sons and a witness, who is now cooperating with the U.S. government, to organize the construction of the underground tunnel that Guzman used to escape from the Altiplano prison to prevent his extradition to the U.S. The plot included purchasing a piece of land near the prison, firearms and an armored truck and smuggling him a GPS watch so they could “pinpoint his exact whereabouts so as to construct the tunnel with an entry point accessible to him,” the court papers say.

FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2019 file photo, Emma Coronel Aispuro, center, wife of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, leaves federal court in New York. The wife of Mexican drug kingpin and escape artist Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has been arrested on international drug trafficking charges at an airport in Virginia. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

FILE – In this Feb. 12, 2019 file photo, Emma Coronel Aispuro, center, wife of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, leaves federal court in New York. The wife of Mexican drug kingpin and escape artist Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has been arrested on international drug trafficking charges at an airport in Virginia. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
((AP Photo/Seth Wenig))

She regularly attended Guzman’s trial, even when testimony implicated her in his prison breaks. The two, separated in age by more than 30 years, have been together since at least 2007, and their twin daughters were born in 2011.

Her father, Ines Coronel Barreras, was arrested in 2013 with one of his sons and several other men in a warehouse with hundreds of pounds of marijuana across the border from Douglas, Arizona. Months earlier, the U.S. Treasury had announced financial sanctions against her father for his alleged drug trafficking.

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After Guzman was rearrested following his escape, Coronel lobbied the Mexican government to improve her husband’s prison conditions. And after he was convicted in 2019, she moved to launch a clothing line in his name.

Fox News’ Lucas Manfredi contributed to this report, as well as The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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