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U.S. Arrests El Chapo’s Wife, Charging Her With Helping to Run Drug Empire

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Emma Coronel Aispuro, the wife of Mexico’s most notorious drug trafficker, best known as El Chapo, was arrested Monday and charged with helping her husband run his multibillion-dollar criminal empire and plotting to break him out of prison after he was captured in 2014.

Ms. Coronel, a former beauty queen, had been under investigation for at least two years by U.S. federal authorities for being an accomplice to her husband, Joaquín Guzmán Loera, who was convicted at a trial in 2019 in Brooklyn of masterminding a huge drug conspiracy and was subsequently sentenced to life in prison.

Court documents filed in Ms. Coronel’s case said she relayed messages for Mr. Guzmán helping him make drug shipments from 2012 to 2014 and evade capture by the legions of American and Mexican authorities who had been pursuing him for years. Evidence emerged at Mr. Guzmán’s trial that Ms. Coronel was also a chief conspirator in a sophisticated plot to break him out of the Altiplano prison in Mexico by digging a mile-long tunnel into the shower of his cell.

Ms. Aispuro, 31, a dual U.S.-Mexican citizen, of Culiacán, Mexico, was taken into custody at Dulles International Airport, near Washington. She is scheduled to make her initial appearance in federal court on Tuesday via video conference in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

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