US arrests wife of Mexico cartel chief El Chapo on drug charges. The wife of a Mexican drug company official Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was arrested and charged in the United States on Monday for helping her husband continue to run his own drug trafficking company while he was in custody.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31 was arrested at Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia who regularly attended her husband’s high-profile case in the US two years ago when he was found guilty of smuggling a lot and lot of drugs into the United States.
His arrest is the highest U.S. arrest in Mexico on drug charges since former Mexican Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos was arrested in October, and experts say it shows a breakdown in security relations between the two countries.
Coronel has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice for allegedly conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines to smuggle into the United States. He is expected to appear in federal court in Washington on Tuesday.
The affidavit attached to the charges also provided details of the Coronel’s involvement in her husband’s escape from a Mexican prison in 2015 and a second attempt to break into a prison in 2016 before the 63-year-old boy was extradited to the United States.
The Colonel’s lawyer was not immediately available for comment, and Mexican lawyers linked to the Guzman family did not respond to a request for comment.
A Mexican official familiar with the situation, who requested anonymity, said the Colonel’s arrest appeared to be American-only and that the Colonel was not wanted in Mexico.
“[It is a sign of what is yet to come,” said former Mexican ambassador to the United States Arturo Sarukhan, citing the example of United States agencies working in small partnership with their Mexican counterparts.
A concerted effort to combat drug trafficking has contributed to the arrest of Cienfuegos, in which the Mexican government took steps to restrict the activities of American lawyers in Mexico in retaliation for what he called breach of trust.
The Ministry of Justice unexpectedly withdrew the case of Cienfuegos the following month and allowed him to return to Mexico, a move that Mexico once accepted as a restoration of trust between the two countries. Two months later, Mexico withdrew its case against Cienfuegos.
The investigation into the Colonel was handled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), rather than the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The charges relate to alleged trafficking between 2014-2107 before the Brooklyn trial in which Guzman was found guilty of drug trafficking.
The documents of the Prosecution said that the Coronel was sending messages on behalf of Guzman to facilitate drug trafficking after his arrest which was back in the year 2014.
Prosecutors allege that the Colonel plotted to assassinate her husband while fleeing the Altiplano prison in Mexico with a long tunnel and his cell. A witness with his name was paid $ 1 million to help help escape the second failure the following year, according to an affidavit.
STRATEGY TO CONTINUE PRESSURE
Coronel, who married Guzman as an 18-year-old queen in 2017, is an American-Mexican citizen living in Mexico. It is not yet clear why he was in the Washington area when he was arrested.
Prosecutors in Guzman’s case two years ago say he accumulated power by killing and fighter jets. Guzman was sentenced to 30 years in prison, with the judge ruling that Guzman’s actions were “serious”. Guzman has been sent to ADX Florence in Colorado, which is the safest prison “Supermax”.
Thomas Guevara, a security analyst at the Autonomous University of Sinaloa, said the Colonel’s arrest could be part of a “repressive strategy” to promote Guzman’s cooperation.