Wife of drug kingpin 'El Chapo' must stay in jail

A U.S. judge ordered the wife of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to remain behind bars Tuesday after she was charged with helping her husband run his multibillion-dollar criminal empire. (February 24)

Video Transcript

- The wife of Mexican drug Lord El Chapo, Emma Coronel Aispuro, was arrested Monday at Dulles International Airport, in Virginia. She was arrested by the FBI, accused of helping to run her husband's multibillion dollar cartel, and also accused by the Justice Department of helping to plot his escape from a Mexican prison in 2015 and then again trying to plot to break him out of jail one more time, before he was extradited back to the US.

JEFFREY LICHTMAN: El Chapo is not necessarily walking [? gozman, ?] but that's for another day.

- Miss Coronel is represented in court by the same attorney who represented her husband in his federal case. When he appeared in court, he basically said that Miss Coronel would waive her right for a detention hearing. They conceded that she could remain temporarily detained in federal custody while the trial proceeds.

The 31-year-old is a former beauty queen. She's been married to El Chapo since at least 2007. We know that they had twin daughters in 2011. And she comes from a lineage of alleged drug traffickers. Her father and her brother were arrested in the US, accused of drug trafficking in 2013. Shortly before that, the US Treasury had placed sanctions against her father for drug trafficking offenses. And we know from the Justice Department that she plays a major role in the Sinaloa Cartel. She's accused of being part of a very large conspiracy to bring large amount of drugs into the US from Mexico.

We know that Miss Aispuro was a recurring character in El Chapo's trial in New York, back in 2017. She attended court every single day. She sat in the audience, even as prosecutors described her role in the cartel.

A lot of the evidence that we're seeing from this case had been disclosed in court before. Witnesses had brought this forward during that trial. They had raised these ideas that she had been involved in the conspiracy. This is a significant arrest for the Biden Justice Department. The Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, and the Department of Justice have been working really hard to try to stem the drug trade coming into the US from Mexico, particularly as the number of opioid deaths continues to rise in the US. So while this certainly makes a dent in taking down the Sinaloa Cartel and taking out their leader and putting him in a prison in the United States for quite a long sentence, life sentence, and his wife obviously faces up to more than 10 years in prison, this is something that the Justice Department is going to continue to need to fight against.