The wife of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera has been sentenced to prison for federal charges related to her involvement in her husband’s criminal empire.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, 32, previously admitted to helping El Chapo run his business. On Tuesday, a federal judge handed down a sentence of three years in prison followed by four years of supervised release, as well as a near $1.5 million forfeiture, prosecutors wrote in a press release.
The statutory minimum sentence for Coronel Aispuro’s crimes is 10 years. However, prosecutors had asked for a sentence of only four years, according to the Associated Press.
The judge imposed a lesser prison term than the prosecutors had suggested after considering that Coronel Aispuro did not have a criminal record and played a minimal role in her husband’s cartel, CNN reports.
According to AP, Coronel Aispuro expressed “true regret for any and all harm” and asked the judge for “forgiveness.” She also reportedly asked the judge to consider her 9-year-old twin daughters.
After reading her sentence, CNN reports that the judge told Coronel Aispuro, “Good luck. Hope you raise your twins in a different environment than what you have experienced until today.”
Coronel Aispuro, who is a dual U.S.-Mexican citizen, was arrested at Dulles International Airport in February on international drug trafficking charges.
In June, she entered into a plea agreement with U.S. prosecutors that prevented her from going to trial. She pleaded guilty to three offenses: knowingly and willfully conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine; conspiring to launder money; and engaging in transactions and dealings with a foreign narcotics trafficker — her husband.
After her plea deal, her attorney Jeffrey Lichtman told reporters: “She is very happy to put this behind her. She didn’t expect to get arrested after her husband received life in prison. So, this is obviously a troubling time. But we’re going to get past it.”
In 2019, El Chapo was convicted and given a life sentence, plus 30 years, for the crimes he committed as leader of the Sinaloa Cartel.
Coronel Aispuro, a former teen beauty queen, married the drug lord when she was 18, not long after meeting him, The New York Times reported during his trial.