Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, the wife of Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, was arrested Monday (Feb. 22) at the Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, D.C.
According to The New York Times, Aispuro, a former teen beauty pageant contestant, was charged with assisting her husband in running his multibillion-dollar international drug empire and for plotting to break him out of prison in 2014. Guzmán, the former leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel, is currently serving a life sentence at ADX Florence, a supermax prison in Colorado.
“Coronel grew up with knowledge of the narcotics trafficking industry, and married Guzmán when she was a teenager,” federal authorities said in court documents. “Coronel understood the scope of the Sinaloa Cartel’s drug trafficking; Coronel knows and understands the Sinaloa Cartel is the most prolific cartel in Mexico.”
Court documents in the case show that Aispuro was an accomplice to her husband for two years, helping him make drug shipments from 2012 to 2014. Documents also alleged she planned the intricate strategy to dig a tunnel into the Altiplano Prison in South-Central Mexico to break Guzmán out. Guzmán was able to escape via an underground tunnel in July 2015. He was recaptured six months later.
Aispuro, who is also known as “La Reinita” or little queen, is scheduled to make a video conference appearance in front of a U.S. District Court judge in D.C. on Tuesday (Feb. 23). Her lawyer had no comment for reporters.