The basics about the sentence of Emma Coronel, wife of “El Chapo”

Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera and Emma Coronel.

Photo: FGR – Alexandria Prison / Courtesy

This Tuesday, Judge Rudolph Contreras will issue the sentence of Emma Coronel, wife Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, accused of three crimes, including drug trafficking, money laundering and being an accessory to her partner to allow the operation of the Sinaloa Cartel in the United States.

On January 23, 2019, Coronel was involved in her husband’s escape from the Altiplano prison in Mexico. It was her buyer Dámaso López Núñez, alias “El Licenciado”, godfather of her twins, who revealed the information.

In April of that year, while Guzmán Loera’s sentence was awaited, authorities from the Department of Justice (DOJ) confirmed to The New York Post that Coronel was being investigated for conspiring against the United States.

“She is being investigated for a conspiracy in this country … She is being investigated for her role in the El Chapo escape,” it was stated.

At that time, Colonel already had plans to create his fashion products company under the label of “El Chapo”, who had given him the rights to his name.

After two years of investigations, Guzmán Loera’s wife turned herself in on February 22 at Dulles International Airport.

In the document of the accusations against her, it was mentioned that she had participated in the conspiracy to help her husband escape from prison, but the central accusations were for drug trafficking.

“According to court documents, Aispuro is accused of participating in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana for importation into the United States,” charged the DOJ.

Accusations and punishment

On June 10 of this year, Coronel pleaded guilty because between 2007 and 2017 he intentionally helped the Sinaloa Cartel to conspire to traffic heroin, cocaine and marijuana to the United States.

The second accusation indicates that between 2007 and 2019 “Conspired and agreed with others” to carry out financial transactions with funds involved “in illegal activities”, including the distribution of controlled substances. That is, money laundering.

The third charge indicates that between 2007 and 2019, the wife of “El Chapo”, who is Mexican-American, would have established agreements for transactions owned by a foreigner, in this case, her husband Guzmán Loera.

Although the accusations against Coronel do not make direct reference to his involvement in “El Chapo’s” escape from prison in Mexico, prosecutors constantly mention that fact as part of the third indictment.

In mid-March 2021, the lawyer Mariel Colón told this newspaper that her client was seriously evaluating the plea agreement, which would lead her to prison for a certain time.

Previously, Judge Robin Meriweather, who was the first to take the case, warned Coronel that if she goes to trial, she could reach between 10 years and life in prison if found guilty.

Within days his lawyers were negotiating with him prosecutor Anthony Nardozzi, the same person who handled the case of Lucero Guadalupe Sánchez López, former lover of “El Chapo”. Coronel’s attorneys, including Jeffrey Lichtman, confirmed that the best settlement was being sought for her.

“(In this type of agreement) the person would have to assume their responsibility and have to show repentance, and that carries some benefits,” said attorney Colón.

In exchange for a minimum sentence, Colonel must collaborated to provide substantial information for other casesAlthough it is unknown which ones, the DEA is targeting Guzmán Loera’s children, known as “Los Chapitos”, and the other leader of the criminal organization, Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, for whom the reward was recently increased to $ 15 million dollars.

On November 18, Prosecutor Nardozzi made an offer of 48 months in prison, that is, four years, plus five years under supervision, as well as the forfeiture of $ 1.5 million. The nine months in jail would be subtracted from the jail period.

Judge Contreras will dictate the sentence this Tuesday, November 30 and could follow the recommendation of the prosecutors, after questioning the defense about the agreement and the Colonel herself about the conditions.