The wife of infamous drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is expected to appear in court Tuesday over her alleged involvement in international drug trafficking. Court documents reveal the 31-year-old is also accused of helping her husband escape from a Mexican prison in 2015. Catherine Herridge reports.
- Two years after a US jury convicted the Mexican drug kingpin known as El Chapo, his wife is the newest suspect and the government's effort to break up the giant Sinaloa cartel. Emma Coronel Aispuro was arrested yesterday at Dulles International Airport in Virginia. She faces a court hearing today, accused of being part of Joaquin Guzman massive criminal operation. As Catherine Herridge reports, US officials may try to use her to bring more of El Chapo partners to justice.
CATHERINE HERRIDGE: Emma Coronel Aispuro, a dual US Mexico citizen, supported her husband throughout his Brooklyn trial two years ago. Now it may be her turn. The 31-year-old is charged in a single count criminal complaint with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana. Guzman and his wife have been together since at least 2007 and share twin daughters. Wall Street Journal correspondent, Jose Cordoba has been reporting on El Chapo for more than a decade.
- She's part of the whole cartel life. She's been in it all of her life. Her family's involved with the cartel. She's cartel Royalty.
CATHERINE HERRIDGE: In court documents, the Justice Department also accuses Cornell of helping her husband escape from a Mexican prison in 2015. As Mexico's most powerful drug lord, Guzman escaped through an entry under the shower in his cell to a mile long lighted tunnel with a motorcycle on rails. Documents charge that Coronel worked with Guzman's sons and a witness, who is now cooperating with authorities, to organize the construction of the underground tunnel.
JACK RILEY: She was clearly exposed to all of the things that Chapo was in control of, the movement of narcotics across the border into the United States and obviously the flow of money back.
CATHERINE HERRIDGE: Jack Riley, a retired assistant administrator for the DEA, directly tracked El Chapo for about 20 years. He says Cornell's cooperation could lead to more arrests including Guzman's suspected second in command currently running the Sinaloa cartel's operations.
JACK RILEY: Right now I think, you know, Miles Zambada is the number one drug trafficker in the world and certainly on our list, in terms of arresting him.
CATHERINE HERRIDGE: And Emma Coronel could lead us to him?
JACK RILEY: That's what my hope is. There is just no way that they don't know each other.
CATHERINE HERRIDGE: We've reached out to her lawyers and have not received a statement about the charges. Cornell is expected to appear in court today via video, Tony.
- All right, Catherine. Thank you very much.