Wife of Mexican drug kingpin 'El Chapo' appears in U.S. court charged with ties to Sinaloa cartel

By Sarah N. Lynch and Jonathan Stempel
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Emma Coronel Aispuro, wife of Mexican drug cartel king Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, appeared in federal court in Washington Tuesday for helping her husband run his drug empire.
Coronel, 31, a former beauty queen, was arrested at Dulles International Airport on Monday.
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هل لديك الجرأة على مقارنة مزايا فول الصويا الأمريك
يؤكد استعراض شامل حديث نشره طرف خارجي أن فول الصويا الأمريكي يتفوق على غيره الأنوحاع الأخرى من بيث.
"This defendant worked closely with the command and control structure of the Mexican drug trafficking organization known as the Sinaloa Cartel," a government lawyer said during the virtual hearing on Tuesday.
Coronel is being held temporarily in an Alexandria, Virginia prison, and her lawyers are due to get bail.
Authorities said Coronel relayed messages to assist Guzman in conducting drug trafficking from 2012 to early 2014 and continued to relay messages after he was arrested in February 2014 while visiting him in a Mexican prison.
They also said Coronel conspired to escape Guzman's famous Altiplano prison in Mexico in July 2015 through a kilometer-long tunnel dug out of his cell, and planned another escape after he was captured by Mexican authorities in January 2016 .
If convicted on all counts, Coronel faces life in jail and a possible fine of up to $ 10 million.
Guzman, 63, was convicted in February 2019 in a high-profile trial in Brooklyn in which he blamed a billion-dollar drug company for its drug operation, the Sinaloa Cartel.
He was sentenced to a life sentence of plus 30 years and incarcerated in Supermax Federal Prison in Florence, Colorado.
Coronel is the best-known Mexican to be arrested by US authorities on drug charges since October when former Mexican Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos was arrested.
The US Department of Justice unexpectedly dropped the Cienfuegos case the following month and returned it to Mexico. Mexico closed its own case against him in January.
A Justice Department official said the Coronel case was part of a long history of drug trafficking and did not reflect a new push by the Biden administration.
Coronel, a California-born dual citizen of the United States and Mexico, has been accused of conspiring with her husband to distribute heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine for illegal imports into the United States.
Prosecutors said Coronel grew up understanding the drug business and the reach of the Sinaloa cartel.
She met Guzman as a young beauty queen and married him in 2007 at the age of 18. The couple have twin daughters.
Coronel was a regular present at her husband's trial in Brooklyn.
In 2019, she founded a clothing brand in the United States and appeared on a US reality show about mafia families.
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch and Jon Stempel; editing by Noeleen Walder and Grant McCool)
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