Wife of Mexico cartel chief El Chapo arrested by U.S. on drug charges
WASHINGTON/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The wife of Mexican drug cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was arrested and charged in the United States on Monday with helping her husband continue to run his drug trafficking cartel while he was behind bars.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, a regular attendee at her husband’s high-profile U.S. trial two years ago where he was convicted of trafficking tons of drugs into the United States, was arrested at Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia.
Her arrest is the highest profile U.S. capture of a Mexican on drug charges since former Mexican Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos was detained in October, and experts said it indicated a deterioration in bilateral security relations.
Coronel was charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines for unlawful importation into the United States. She is expected to appear in a federal court in Washington on Tuesday.
An affidavit attached to the charges also details Coronel’s alleged involvement in her husband’s escape from a Mexican prison in 2015 and a second attempted prison break in 2016 before the 63-year-old was extradited to the United States.
A lawyer for Coronel could not immediately be identified, and lawyers in Mexico linked to the Guzman family did not respond to a request for comment.
A Mexican official familiar with the situation, who asked not to be identified, said Coronel’s arrest appeared to be solely a U.S. initiative and that Coronel was not wanted in Mexico.