Emma Coronel Aispuro, Wife of 'El Chapo,' Pleads Guilty to Playing Role in Husband's Drug Empire
Emma Coronel Aispuro, the former beauty queen wife of "El Chapo," accepted a plea bargain Thursday in response to three federal charges
The wife of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera has pleaded guilty to three federal charges that tie her to the Mexican kingpin's infamous criminal empire, federal prosecutors announced in a press release.
During a hearing in Washington, D.C., on Thursday morning, 31-year-old Emma Coronel Aispuro admitted to helping El Chapo run his business, accepting a plea bargain with U.S. prosecutors that will prevent her from going to trial.
Coronel Aispuro, who is a dual U.S.-Mexican citizen, was arrested at Dulles International Airport in February on international drug trafficking charges.
She has pleaded guilty to three offenses: knowingly and willfully conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine; conspiring to launder money; and engaging in transactions and dealings with a foreign narcotics trafficker - her husband.
Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.
"She is very happy to put this behind her," Coronel Aispuro's attorney, Jeffrey Lichtman, told reporters outside the courthouse. "She didn't expect to get arrested after her husband received life in prison. So, this is obviously a troubling time. But we're going to get past it."
In 2019, El Chapo was convicted and given a life sentence, plus 30 years, for the crimes he committed as leader of the Sinaloa Cartel.
Coronel Aispuro, a former teen beauty queen, married the drug lord when she was 18, not long after meeting him, The New York Times reported during his trial.
The Times reports they have two children together - twin daughters.
The statutory minimum sentence for Coronel Aispuro's crimes is 10 years, the AP reports, though Lichtman says he hopes for something lesser.
Coronel Aispuro's sentencing hearing is currently scheduled for September 15.