Emma Coronel Aispuro the wife of notorious Mexican drug trafficker, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán, has been sentenced to three years in prison, after pleading guilty to multiple charges in June 2021. Aispuro’s hearing was held on Tuesday, November 30, 2021, and resulted in a shorter sentence than anticipated. The 32-year-old married the now 64-year-old when she was just 18 years old. Aispuro was arrested at Dulles International Airport in Washington D.C. on February 22, 2021, and pleaded guilty to three federal charges as a part of a plea bargain she made back in June.
She was charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana for importation into the U.S. “This is an arm’s length plea agreement,” her attorney, Jeffery Lichtman said at the time. “She’s happy to take responsibility…[to] get on with her life,” he said.
Emma has been in jail since her arrest and arrived in court asking the judge for mercy. During the sentencing, originally scheduled for Sept. 15, she read a letter to the judge, asking him to not look at her as “El Chapo”‘s wife, but as a mother. “I am here before you, asking you for forgiveness,” she said via an interpreter, NBC reported.
Her emotional plea worked, and her three-year sentence is actually one year less than what the prosecutor asked for. She will also have to pay nearly $1.5 million in a “forfeiture money judgment” and will be on probation for five years. Her attorney has reportedly claimed that her lowered sentence is not because she gave up information about her husband.
“While the overall effect of the defendant’s conduct was significant, the defendant’s actual role was a minimal one. The defendant acted primarily in support of her husband,” said federal prosecutor, Anthony Nardozzi. However, according to Telemundo, criminal experts have indicated that this kind of reduction only happens when a defendant provides the U.S. government with valuable information.
“El Chapo” was arrested on February 22, 2014, on multiple charges related to the Sinaloa Cartel. He escaped prison less than two years later and some allege she helped him escape. He was recaptured in 2016 and found guilty of 17 charges on February 12, 2019, and subsequently sentenced to life in prison.
Aispuro is not likely to end up serving her full three-year sentence. Constitutional lawyer, Joseph Malouf, told Telemundo, that she will likely serve 85 percent of her sentence, while Lichtman said in a statement that he’s hoping for 18 months. It’s not yet clear where she will be incarcerated.