‘El Chapo’s’ wife to plead guilty to helping run billion-dollar drug cartel

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The wife of infamous Mexican drug lord "El Chapo" Guzman will plead guilty Thursday to helping her husband run his massive billion-dollar drug empire, according to two federal law enforcement sources.

Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, is expected to enter a guilty plea as part of a deal with prosecutors in a federal court in Washington. It was not clear what exact charges she will plead to.

She was taken into custody at Dulles International Airport outside Washington D.C., in February in connection with a single-count criminal complaint of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana in the United States.

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The open question is whether Aispuro is cooperating with federal authorities against her husband.

El Chapo, whose real name is Joaquin Guzman Lorea, is the former leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel, which is responsible for smuggling tons of cocaine and other drugs into the U.S. and waging bloody battles against rivals on Mexican soil using an army of "sicarios," or hitmen.

He was arrested by Mexican authorities in 2017 and extradited to the U.S. He had twice previously escaped from Mexican prisons. He was convicted in federal court in 2019 and is presently serving a life sentence in a Colorado supermax prison.

Aispuro, a former beauty queen and dual American and Mexican citizen, is also accused of helping her husband orchestrate a prison escape, which raised questions about Mexico's ability to secure Guzman. She was a fixture during his three-month federal trial in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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The two are separated in age by more than 30 years. They have been together since at least 2007 and have twin daughters.

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