Wife of 'El Chapo' pleads guilty in U.S. federal court

The wife of Mexican drug lord El Chapo on Thursday pleaded guilty in federal court for her role in helping her husband run the Sinaloa cartel of smugglers.

Clad in a green jumpsuit and wearing a white face mask, Emma Coronel Aispuro, appeared for a court hearing in Washington, D.C., where she pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiring to distribute illegal drugs, conspiring to launder money and conspiring to assist the Sinaloa drug cartel.

As part of her plea agreement, the 31-year-old former beauty queen also admitted to conspiring to helping her husband escape from a Mexican prison in 2015 when he dug a mile-long tunnel from his cell.

In early 2019, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who is 64, was convicted in a high-profile Brooklyn trial of masterminding a multibillion-dollar drug enterprise.

He was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years, and locked up in the federal Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.

Coronel, a dual U.S.-Mexico citizen, married Guzman in 2007 at the age of 18. The couple has twin daughters. Coronel could face up to life in prison for the drug distribution charge alone.

The other two counts against her carry maximum prison terms of 20 years and 10 years, respectively.

A tentative sentencing date was set by the judge for mid-September.

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