Emma Coronel Aispuro, the wife of Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, appeared in federal court on Thursday, where she was prepared to plead guilty for having helped her husband run the Sinaloa cartel of smugglers.
The former beauty queen appeared for a court hearing before U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras. She was clad in a green jumpsuit and wearing a white face mask.
Coronel was detained in February on allegations that she relayed messages to help Guzman traffic drugs from 2012 to early 2014, and continued delivering messages while visiting him in a Mexican jail after his February 2014 detention. Prosecutors also say the woman played a major role in Guzman’s 2015 escape from a jail in Mexico.
The 31-year-old woman was born in California and holds both Mexican and U.S. citizenship.
She was charged with conspiring to distribute 1 kg or more of heroin, 5 kg or more of cocaine, 1,000 kg or more of marijuana and 500 grams or more of methamphetamine as well as aiding and abetting.
If convicted on all federal charges, Coronel could be sentenced to life in prison and fined up to $10 million.
64-year-old Guzman was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years, and locked up in the federal Supermax jail in Florence, Colorado.