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El Chapo's glamorous wife Emma, 29, enjoys gondola ride in Venice during her European vacation while her husband rots in hellish Colorado Supermax prison
Emma Coronel Aispuro, a 31-year-old former beauty queen with both U.S. and Mexican citizenship, was detained on Monday at Dulles Airport in Virginia.
It's unclear where she had flown in from, or how it came about. The Department of Justice has not confirmed when or how she agreed to turn herself in.
At a virtual court appearance on Tuesday, her attorneys said they were not immediately seeking bail. The hearing was delayed because an interpreter hadn't been called.
Aispuro is facing a minimum of 10 years in prison but a maximum of life and up to $10million.
She has been charged with one count criminal complaint with a conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, five kilograms or more of cocaine, 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana, and 500 grams or more of methamphetamines for unlawful importation into the U.S.
According to prosecutors, she helped run her husband's drug empire between 2014 and 2017, and she also participated in two plots to spring him from prison - one in 2015 - which was successful - and another in 2016, while he was awaiting extradition to the US, which was not.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, a 31-year-old former beauty queen, was arrested in Virginia on Monday. It's unclear what the circumstances of her arrest were - if she turned herself in or not
Emma Coronel Aispuro (C) departs United States Federal Court after the first day of jury deliberations in the case against her husband Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman in Brooklyn, New York, USA, 04 February 2019
Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman (center) came up through the ranks of the defunct Guadalajara Cartel before going on his own and co-founding the Sinaloa Cartel
During her first appearance, prosecutor Anthony Nardozzi said: 'This defendant worked closely with the command and control center of the Sinaloa Cartel.
'Most notably, with her husband, Joaquin Guzman, the leader of the cartel, prior to his extradition and subsequent conviction int he United States.
As the complaint reads, this defendant is charged with knowingly distributing large amounts of heroin, cocaine, marijuana and meth. Knowing and intending that these substances would end up in the US.
Her actions, which notably included her participation in her husband's escape in 2015 and her efforts to again help Guzman escape from custody prior to his January 2017 extradition, aided and abetted the objective of the cartel.
Additionally, the defendant has access to criminal who are members of the Sinaloa cartel and means to flee.
'Further she has no direct ties to the Washington DC area. For those reasons, the government believes that pre-trial detention is justified.'
Aispuro's attorneys agreed to a temporary stay of detention. She thanked her interpreter at the end of the hearing.
They have not yet set the next trial date.
While she is undoubtedly a high profile arrest for the authorities, she is far from being a major player in her own right.
Many suspect that prosecutors will lean heavily on her to 'flip' - something which, for someone so embedded in trafficking culture, may not come easy.
The U.S. government's case is helped by an informant, named only as 'Cooperating Witness 1,' who testified that they were given $100,000 by Coronel to help his escape from prison when he was recaptured in 2016, and $1 million in total.
The informant also claims that Coronel oversaw a plan by which a further $2 million was sent to bribe Mexico's head of prisons to send Guzman from a prison in Ciudad Juarez back to Altiplano, where he would once again be busted out of jail.
According to the indictment, Coronel 'stated to Cooperating Witness 1 that approximately $2 million had been paid to the Mexican official who oversaw the Mexican prisons to facilitate the transfer.'
Mike Vigil, a former DEA agent who worked undercover in Mexico, told DailyMail.com that Coronel was 'a narco princess' deeply enmeshed in the world of trafficking.
After Guzman was re-arrested in Mexico in January 2016, Coronel is alleged to have engaged in planning the additional jail break, before he was eventually extradited to the U.S. in January 2017.
'She was not a distributor, or a money launderer, or involved in logistics,' said Vigil.
'But she did things he ordered he to, like passing messages.'
Vigil pointed out that all her alleged involvement took place prior to his extradition to the United States - authorities in the U.S. were well aware of her role, and so have prevented her continued help of him while behind bars.
She is not believed to have been allowed to see him inside the Colorado prison.
Vigil said that her current focus was on their daughters, and spending his money, noting: 'She's not involved any more.'
He added: 'So did she participate? Yes.
'But these charges are related to things that she did in the past. It's not like she's branching out on her own.'
Coronel is charged in a one count criminal complaint with a conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin; five kilograms or more of cocaine; 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana; and 500 grams or more of methamphetamines for unlawful importation into the U.S.
Guzman's lawyer, Jeffrey Lichtman, told DailyMail.com he is representing Coronel.
Guzman and his wife are pictured in a courtroom sketch from January 31, 2019
For Coronel, born in California, trafficking was a family affair.
Her father Ines Coronel Barreras was a mid-ranking lieutenant in the Sinaloa Cartel, as was her brother, Omar.
FBI intercepts of Guzman's phone showed him discussing business in 2011 with Ines - the father-in-law groveling to the man he repeatedly refers to as 'senor'.
'Make sure you delete everything every time we're done chatting,' Guzman reminds his wife, when she takes the phone back.
Ines and Omar were both arrested in April 2013.
Coronel married Guzman in 2007 in La Angostura, Durango, and gave birth to their twin girls on August 15, 2011.
The girls, Emali and Maria Joaquina, were born at Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, California - on their birth certificates, the father's name was left blank.
Coronel is pictured with Emali and Maria Joaquina, born in 2011, in February 2018 in New York
Coronel is pictured with members of her father's legal team on January 17, 2019, in Brooklyn
The wiretaps showed how intricately Coronel was involved in her husband's business, with the pair discussing by text the price per kilo of drugs and liaising about impending police raids on their properties.
'Our Kiki is fearless,' Coronel writes, in January 2012, with reference to Maria Joaquina.
'I'm going to give her an AK-47 so she can hang with me.'
On January 24, 2012, he tells her: 'Love, whenever you guys see suspicious-looking cars let me know right away so I can get them checked out, love.'
She says that the security team saw some strange vehicles, but 'they were told they were from the government'.
He replies: 'I am told that they are following you, darling. You just go ahead and lead a normal life, that's it. They just want to see if you are coming to where I am.'
A week or so later, she says that she's been told her home will soon be raided.
'Let me check and see what's going on,' he replied. 'Do you have a gun?'
She replies that she has one he gave her.
Shortly after, he responds: 'They are doing a thorough check for me.'
She remarks: 'I hope it won't be today. I have a headache.'
During his trial, Coronel was a constant presence - the drug lord waving goofily at her across the courtroom, and blowing kisses.
She sat through hours of testimony from his former mistresses, and from former associates who turned against him.
Coronel herself treated the trial as a fashion parade, turning up every day in a striking new outfit. She announced afterwards that she was launching a fashion collection.
In November 2019 Coronel was in talks to join the VH1 reality series Cartel Crew.
TMZ obtained photos of her on a yacht, as another cast member - Michael Corleone Blanco, son of Colombian drug dealer Griselda Blanco - pulled up alongside her boat.
The series ended in December 2019, however, and it does not appear that she filmed any scenes beyond the yacht one.
Coronel is accused in the court documents of having been in contact with Guzman's sons, known as 'Chapitos', who are currently believed to be running the Sinaloa Cartel.
Four of Guzman's 15 known sons - Ivan, Jesus, Ovidio and Joaquin Jr - are all referenced in the charging documents.
Ovidio was captured in October 2019 in Culiacan, a stronghold of the Sinaloa Cartel. He was then released amid a full-scale shootout with cartel members in broad daylight that left cars burning and civilians running for cover, in a case which sparked huge controversy for Mexico's president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
Vigil, the former chief of international operations for the DEA, who spent 20 years infiltrating Mexican and Colombian cartels, told DailyMail.com that investigators would now be trying to use Coronel to entrap other, bigger, fish.
Coronel, said Vigil, will be pressed as to the whereabouts of the sons and of Ismael 'El Mayo' Zambada, the 73-year-old who was Guzman's right-hand-man.
'They have cooperating witnesses who claim that she was liaising with the sons,' he said.
Coronel was a teenage beauty queen when she met Guzman, who was her father's boss
She even became a key character in the court drama when a former lieutenant of Guzman's alleged Coronel played a pivotal role in her husband's Hollywood-style escape from prison in a mile-long tunnel burrowed under his jail cell's shower in 2015
Piggybacking on her husband's fame and seeking to cash-in on her celebrity outside Mexico, Coronel launched a clothing brand in the United States in 2019 and even appeared in a U.S. reality show about mafia families.
'I consider myself a normal woman,' Coronel said in VH1's Cartel Crew show, speaking aboard a yacht.
'It's sad that they judge us without knowing us. It's hard.'
In media interviews, Coronel emphasised her enduring loyalty to Guzman and her focus on bringing up their twin daughters.
'Emma is like the old narco families in Sinaloa,' a former acquaintance told Reuters.
She has recently appeared in an episode of the VH1 show Cartel Crew where she socialized with the show's stars and told of plans to launch a clothing line in her jailed husband's name, claiming it was something they had talked about 'when he was free'
The man who brought down El Chapo: Incredible story of the federal agent who obsessively pursued the world's most notorious drug baron
Coronel shared a picture to Instagram on Saturday taken on a gondola near the Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy.
She also posted a snap of her Starbucks coffee and a piece of cake on her Instagram account last week with the caption: 'What diet?'
Her cultural trip comes less than two weeks after a federal judge in Brooklyn sentenced her husband El Chapo, 62, to life in prison, plus 30 years.
He was transferred two days later to ADX, a supermax prison in Colorado, which a former warden on Saturday described as 'worse then death.'
Emma Aispuro Coronel shared a picture to Instagram on Saturday taken on a gondola near the Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy
Emma Coronel Aispuro also shared a snap of her Starbucks coffee and a piece of cake on her Instagram account last week before jetting off to vacation in Italy. She captioned it: 'What diet?'
Emma Aispuro Coronel (center) is barred from visiting her husband, El Chapo, at the super-max prison in Florence, Colorado
Between 2002 and 2005, Robert Hood served as the warden of the facility, where no prisoner has ever escaped from in its 25 years of existence.
'This is not built for humanity,' Hood told the Denver Post.
'I think that being there, day-by-day, it's worse than death.'
The Mexican drug kingpin was whisked off to the Florence, Colorado, prison less than 48 hours after he was sentenced to life and to pay $12.6 billion in forfeiture - a sum based on an estimate of revenues off sales in the United States during his helm as the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel.
Known as ADX, it's the only federal super-maximum detention facility in the U.S.
The prison is home to America's most notorious criminals, including 'Unabomber' Ted Kaczynski, Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and 1993 World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef.
A former warden at the prison where El Chapo (pictured in 2015) is staying has described it as 'worse then death.'
More than 400 prisoners are incarcerated at ADX where they spend 23 hours per day confined to a 7-by-12-foot concrete cell.
Their only view to the outside world - if any - is through a 42-inch tall, four-inch wide window.
The vast majority of prisoners at ADX are allowed out of their cells for only a few hours a week for exercise, occasional visits to a 'law library' cell, social or legal visits, and medical consultations.
When removed from their cells, inmates are placed in full restraints and escorted by two guards.
They eat all meals inside tiny cells just feet from open toilets.
An expert at escaping from Mexican prisons - he twice did do before he was recaptured in 2016 and later extradited to the U.S. - El Chapo's new home is constantly being watched by guards atop towers.
In the past week, Coronel has also shared pictures of the El Chapo clothing line, which she heads up
Mexican marines captured 'El Chapo' on January 8, 2016, in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. He was extradited to the U.S. a year later
The class-action lawsuit is still pending but it has at least led to some changes on how mental illness was dealt with from within.
El Chapo is slated to be held in ADX's most isolated section, Range 13, which Hood said 'it's not a place designed for humanity,' according to the New York Post.
'It's one click away from the death penalty. All of a sudden, one day you're put in a box and not cared about — that's the punishment.'
El Chapo, who founded the Sinaloa Cartel, will be barred from visits by his beauty queen wife. Only his seven-year-old twin daughters can visit him.
Such conditions at the penitentiary have been denounced by Amnesty International and led his defense team to file a motion for an appeal.
While recognizing the pain inflicted by El Chapo's criminal enterprise in his home country, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador criticized the federal government's decision of locking El Chapo away at ADX in isolation.
That money belongs to us: Mexican President risks feud with Trump by demanding El Chapo's 12.6bn drug money be turned over to Mexico and NOT the US
Special agent Ray Donovan began an in-depth study of the Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán saga seven years ago and it immediately became an obsession.
The co-founder of the Sinaloa cartel was considered the most powerful drug lord in the planet after Colombian Pablo Escobar - a former business associate during his early stages of the drug trade - was killed in a police shoot-out in 1993.
While Guzman now sits behind bars after he was sentenced to life in prison - plus an extra 30 years - almost two decades after he first escaped from a Mexican jail while hiding inside a cart of dirty laundry.
As a prize for his non-stop dedicated work in bringing down El Chapo, the 48-year-old New Yorker keeps a special memento in his office: the beige T-shirt that Guzman - prisoner 3912 - wore when he was extradited from Mexico to the United States on January 19, 2017.
Ray Donovan, the US DEA chief in New York, was obsessed in bringing down El Chapo
Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán was considered the most powerful drug lord on the planet Colombian after Pablo Escobar's death
El Chapo is sentenced to life behind bars and told to forfeit 12.6 BILLION to the US government at dramatic court hearing where he broke his silence to complain about 'torturous' conditions in jail
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is preparing himself for a showdown with the United States over Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán's fortune.
El Chapo was sentenced to life in jail at a New York City court this week by a federal judge who also ordered him to pay US authorities $12.6 billion - the figure he is estimated to have earned from drug trafficking as the head of the Sinaloa Cartel.
But on Thursday, López Obrador argued that the funds should be returned to El Chapo's home country of Mexico.
He also demanded that the US return the assets they had already seized from the gang leader. The US government estimates El Chapo's fortune at $14 billion.
López Obrador revealed his plans after a conversation with the drug kingpin's Mexico-based attorney, José Luis González Meza.
'I think that everything that is confiscated and that has to do with Mexico has to be returned to the Mexicans,' the Mexican leader said.
'I believe that the United States government will agree, but we have to do the paperwork, because I do not remember which will be held before.'
Mexico's president argued that past administrations never placed claims on assets that were confiscated from criminal figures.
But U.S. prosecutors are demanding he pay back $12.6 billion that he made off cocaine, marijuana and heroin sales during his 25 years at the helm of the international criminal enterprise.
'I listened very well to the lawyer. The confiscation of property, in any case is a matter of justice. These assets correspond to Mexico legally and the matter will be reviewed. I agree with what Guzmán Loera's lawyer said,' López Obrador.
Prosecutors estimated that El Chapo generated at least $11.8 billion in cocaine, $846 million in marijuana and $11 million in heroin.
López Obrador questioned whether the notorious Mexican cartel leader even had such amount of money stashed away. Some believe that the treasure could be hidden in some where within the 'Triángulo Dorado' [Golden Triangle], an area near Guzmán's hometown of La Tuna which is surrounded by the states of Chihuahua, Sinaloa y Durango in northwestern Mexico.
'It was once said that this character, this man, this person, was among the richest in the world and I didn't agree,' López Obrador.
'I truly believe that higher figures were given when there were traffickers of influence with much more money, but there was this assessment for political or advertising reasons. We must look at the wealth with all honesty and seriousness.'
Guzman waved and blew a kiss to his wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, as he entered the courtroom
Mexican cartel kingpin El Chapo's beauty queen wife wells up with tears and gives him a thumbs up as he is found GUILTY on all charges in New York drug trafficking trial
El Chapo has been sentenced to life imprisonment plus 30 years after a dramatic sentencing hearing in Brooklyn where he pleaded for mercy and complained about the conditions inside his New York City cell.
The 62-year-old broke his silence to make a statement, his first throughout his months-long legal saga.
Speaking through a translator, he complained that he was 'tortured 24 hours-a-day' in his solitary confinement cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, where he has been since January 2017.
He also complained that he was denied a fair trial, that the judge failed to investigate claims of prosecutorial misconduct and said the United States is 'no better than any corrupt country'.
El Chapo’s Fate Is In The Hands Of 12 Jurors
El Chapo, the notorious Mexican drug lord, was found guilty on Tuesday of drug trafficking, criminal enterprise and firearms offenses after a three-month trial in Brooklyn. He will now likely spend the rest of his life in a US prison. He is shown in his 2016 mugshot
Emma Coronel Aispuro, El Chapo's 29-year-old former beauty queen wife, is shown leaving the courthouse after the verdict. She gave him a thumbs up when he learned his fate and had tears in her eyes but they had dried by the time she made her way to a waiting car
'The government’s reliance on the testimony of cooperating witnesses laid bare the corruption of the criminal justice system where freedom is traded by the government in exchange for testimony,' it said.
The trial included testimony from former associates and employees of the drug kingpin who is considered one of the most dangerous men in the world.
Count 1 - Engaging in a criminal enterprise
Count 2 - International Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine and Marijuana Manufacture and Distribution Conspiracy
Count 3 - Cocaine Importation Conspiracy
Count 4 - Cocaine Distribution Conspiracy
Count 5 - International Distribution of Cocaine
Count 6 - International Distribution of Cocaine
Count 7 - International Distribution of Cocaine
Count 8 - International Distribution of Cocaine
Count 9 - Use of firearms
Count 10 - Conspiracy to launder narcotics proceeds
They spoke at length about how he ordered killings and controlled a multi-billion dollar Mexican cartel including when he was on the run from Mexican authorities after breaking out of prison.
El Chapo's defense spent just 30 minutes trying to negate the months of witness testimony.
They claimed he is being framed and that the real leader of the Sinaloa cartel is someone else.
After the verdict was returned, members of the defense team described it as 'devastating'.
Hours before the deliberation, Jeffrey Lichtman, one of his lawyers tweeted a link to The Clash song Guns of Brixton which, with lyrics including 'When the law break in How you gonna go? Shot down on the pavement or waiting on death row?' serves as the anthem for going down fighting.
Lichtman said after the trial that he can 'proudly say' the defense 'left it all on the battlefield' by presenting half-an-hour of arguments.
In a press conference afterwards, he said El Chapo was 'upbeat' despite the verdict.
'He was very clear to us, he is a very upbeat guy.
'Usually it's the other way around. This is a positive guy, he has always been positive with us.
'We judge him differently than you judge him. We judge him differently than society judges him... we judge him on how he is with us.
'He has always been a gentleman, he has always been supportive, he has always been happy and appreciative of all of our efforts,' he said.
U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan praised jurors for taking their time to meticulously deliberate the charges in the face of global interest and pressure to convict one of the most notorious criminals of all time.
He said their treatment of the trial 'made him 'very proud to be an American.'
After the trial, US Attorney Richard Donoghue said El Chapo would have 'no escape' from his conviction.
'It is a sentence from which there is no escape and there is no return.
'This conviction is a victory for the American people who have suffered for so long and so muhc while Guzman made billions pouring poison over our southern border.
'This is a victory for the Mexican people who have lost more than 100,000 lives in drug-related violence.
Triumphant: US Attorney Richard Donoghue said El Chapo would have 'no escape' from his conviction
No cameras have been allowed in the courtroom since the start of the trial but the defendant has been depicted in sketches such as this one
El Chapo was finally captured for the last time in Mexico in 2016 after being on the run for more than a year. He has broken out of prison twice over the last 20 years to the mortification of the Mexican authorities he and his cronies have long-claimed are corrupt
In this 2016 image taken inside his prison cell in Mexico, El Chapo is seen staring at the ceiling
Nieto has always denied the allegations.
Since he was brought to the US, Guzman has been held in solitary confinement in prisons in Manhattan and in a secret location for the duration of his trial.
When it began, the NYPD had to close the Brooklyn Bridge to ensure there was no interference as he was transported to the courthouse for the first time in an extraordinary security measure.
Tuesday's verdict brings an end to Guzman's infamous reign as the leader of the Sinaloa cartel. He is shown in 1993, after his first arrest
The trial, which began in November, has attracted Mexican television stars and the gaze of the world's media.
It was not without obstacle.
Among the most challenging stages was jury selection when dozens of people had to be discounted after admitting that they would fear for their life if they were selected.
Others were rejected after confessing to admiring Guzman including one man who even asked a court bailiff to help him get the defendant's autograph.
There were allegations at one stage that the defendant was secretly communicating with his former beauty queen wife who was seen using a forbidden cell phone during some proceedings.
FBI agents also testified in addition to the criminals the defendant once employed.
Part of his defense was that they could not be trusted because they were violent criminals.
Before the case even reached trial, his attorneys argued that he had been mistreated while in custody and that his health was declining.
They suggested that he was losing his mind as a result of the solitary confinement he was subjected to and that his memory was also imploding.
During the course of the trial, the only people who were allowed to visit him were his twin seven-year-old daughters.
The beginning of the end? El Chapo was arrested in Mexico after meeting with actor Sean Penn and Kate del Castillo while he was on the run from authorities. After his arrest, Mexican officials suggested that their meeting, which Penn wrote about for Rolling Stone, led to his capture
Misplaced confidence: On Wednesday, Balarezo Law tweeted a photo of Hijos de Villa reposado tequila, which comes inside of a bottle shaped like a firearm, writing, 'For after trial. #ElChapo'
1993: First arrest in Mexico
2001: Breaks out of jail for the first time with help of guards
2014: Is rearrested in Mexico after 13 years on the run
July 2015: Breaks out of prison for a second time through secret tunnel
October 2015: Meets with Sean Penn and Kate Del Castillo in Mexico
Days later, the safe house is raided but he escapes
January 8 2016: Captured in Los Michos
January 9 2016: Sean Penn's Rolling Stone article is published
January 2017: Extradited back to the US
October 2017: Netflix documentary about meeting from Kate Del Castillo is published
November 2017: El Chapo's lawyers say his mental health is deteriorating
November 2018: Trial finally begins after jury deliberations
February 5: Closing arguments in the trial
February 12: Jury reaches verdict