(TargetLiberty.org) – United States Department of Justice officials continue the legal efforts to shut down Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel. Its head, drug kingpin Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Loera, otherwise known as “El Chapo” and “El Rapido,” received two consecutive life sentences plus 30 years in the Eastern District of New York and the Southern District of Florida in 2019. The courts also ordered him to pay a total of $12.6 billion in penalties.
At about the same time El Chapo was being sentenced, Justice Department prosecutors filed a criminal indictment against his two sons, Joaquin Guzman Lopez and Ovidio Guzman Lopez. A one-count indictment charged the two men with conspiring to distribute drugs from Mexico into the United States for 10 years beginning in April 2008. Both men have eluded arrest so far.
Moving down the line of suspects, FBI Special Agent Eric McGuire filed a criminal complaint and accompanying affidavit and arrest warrant application against El Chapo’s wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, on February 17, 2021.
The complaint accused her of conspiracy to distribute varying amounts of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana for importation into the United States. It also accused her of aiding and abetting her husband’s escape from a Mexican prison on July 11, 2015. Federal agents arrested Emma Coronel Aispuro at Dulles International Airport outside Washington DC on February 22, 2021.
El Chapo’s Wife Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges
The Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs announced on June 10, 2021, that Emma Coronel Aispuro pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and money laundering charges.
Coronel Aispuro, a dual US-Mexican citizen, pleaded guilty to:
- Conspiring to distribute at least 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, 5 kilograms of cocaine, 1 kilogram of heroin, and 500 grams of methamphetamine into the United States, Mexico, and other countries;
- Conspiring to launder drug money with the help of other, unnamed individuals; and
- Violating the Foreign Kingpin Act by engaging in financial transactions and property belonging to her husband, a Significant Foreign Narcotics Trafficker as determined by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Coronel Aispuro on September 15. At that time, a federal district court judge will impose a sentence on her after considering the federal sentencing guidelines and other relevant factors. She could spend the rest of her life in prison.
It’s noteworthy that the aiding and abetting charge from the criminal complaint was dropped and replaced with two counts dealing with Coronel Aispuro’s handling of El Chapo’s money and property. It could indicate an effort by federal prosecutors to get their hands on the $12.6 billion forfeiture levied against El Chapo. If successful, the loss of that amount of money from cartel operations could be a dent in their operation, perhaps even shut them down — at least temporarily.
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