The choices of our youth will always come back to meet us in adulthood, in some way, shape, or form. The ripple effects can be revealed at any point in time.
Such an effect is playing out for Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, the wife of Mexican Kingpin, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, also known as Guzman Loera. She was arrested in February at Dulles Airport near Washington, DC, and has been held without bail since her arrest.
Coronel has pleaded guilty to charges related to international drug trafficking, money laundering, and a criminal violation of the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (the Kingpin Act).
The charges include conspiracy to distribute vast amounts of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana for U.S. importation. She also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to launder narcotics profits and another count of engaging in illegal financial dealings related to her husband’s property.
According to court documents, Coronel, a dual U.S.-Mexican citizen, pleaded guilty to a three-count criminal information charging her with:
- Conspiring to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, one kilogram or more of heroin, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, and 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana in the U.S., Mexico, and elsewhere, knowing, intending, and having a reasonable cause to believe that such substances would be unlawfully imported into the U.S.
- Conspiring with others to launder narcotics proceeds.
- Violating the criminal penalties of the Kingpin Act by engaging in transactions and dealings in property of her husband, Guzman Loera, a Significant Foreign Narcotics Trafficker designated by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Coronel met El Chapo, who was 50 at the time, when she was just 18 years old, probably succumbing to the promises of a brand new, luxurious lifestyle with the Sinaloa Cartel leader.
They met in 2007 when she was a contestant in the Coffee and Guava Festival beauty pageant in Canelas, Durango, Mexico. El Chapo traveled to Canelas to meet her, and reportedly, both agreed to marry that day.
She likely never considered what the long-term repercussions of a life of crime would yield, or perhaps she never truly cared.
Regardless of why she chose to be with him in the first place, Coronel doubled down on her commitment to the kingpin by pleading guilty to all charges instead of taking the case to trial. Her charges could net her life in prison.
By pleading guilty, further investigation, depositions, and other discoveries that could reveal the depths of which she was committed to El Chapo, and his mission have been halted. Her plea doesn’t lighten her sentencing but keeps the doors shut to the cartel’s inner workings.
Coronel’s sentencing is scheduled for September 15, 2021. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Her attorney, Jeffrey Lichtman, said Coronel is “happy to put this behind her” and hopes the judge will view her as a “minimal participant” in the organization at sentencing and give her a single-digit sentence.