Emma Coronel will be detained without bail: Judge

Emma Coronel faces charges of conspiring to distribute cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana in the United States

| 02/23/2021 | ionicons-v5-c12: 31 | AP |

NEW YORK – A U.S. judge ordered Tuesday that Emma colonel, the wife of the Mexican drug lord Joaquín « El Chapo » Guzmán, remain detained without bail after being accused of drug traffic and helping her husband escape from jail in 2015.

Colonel, a 31-year-old former beauty queen, appeared by videoconference before a judge of the city of Washington. The woman faces charges of conspiring to distribute cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana in U.S.

The American and Mexican citizen was arrested in the Dulles International airport Monday and transferred to the Alexandria, Virginia Detention Center.

His arrest is the latest episode in a bloody saga involving Guzmán, a former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel. Guzmán became a legend due to two escapes from Mexican prisons that surprised the world and gave him an image of invincible before the authorities. In 2017, however, he was extradited to U.S.

Coronel is accused of participating in a criminal association to traffic cocaine, methamphetamines, heroin and marijuana. U.SIn addition, he accuses her of having joined others to help Guzmán escape from the Altiplano prison, in Almoloya de Juárez, Mexico, in July 2015.

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After Guzmán was re-arrested in Mexico in January 2016, Coronel allegedly again planned, along with others, another escape attempt for her husband. Guzmán, however, was extradited a year later.

Coronel appeared every day in the trial of her husband for drug trafficking – held in the court of the eastern district of New York – in late 2018 and the first two months of 2019 and was caught on camera every time she entered or left the building of the court in Brooklyn. Guzmán was sentenced to life in prison for his role as leader of the Sinaloa Cartel.

According to an affidavit issued by Eric McGuire, an FBI agent, and released by the Department of Justice, from 2012 to 2014 Coronel passed messages from Guzmán to other members of the cartel to continue drug trafficking activities while he evaded authorities. Mexican.

Following the arrest of « El Chapo » in February 2014, Coronel continued to pass on the messages her husband gave her when she visited him in prison, McGuire wrote. Mexican authorities did not monitor visits, the agent said.

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« I believe Coronel acted as a messenger between Guzmán and his soldiers, associates and sons, » McGuire wrote. « I also understand that Guzmán continued to direct the activities of drug traffic of Sinaloa Cartel from the Altiplano prison through various individuals, including Coronel. « 

The FBI agent based his accusations in part on the statements of a witness whom he calls « Collaborating Witness 1 ». McGuire said that after the arrest of « El Chapo » in January 2016, Coronel gave the witness $ 100,000 and told him to buy property near the Altiplano prison. The witness would end up receiving a million dollars to carry out the escape plan, McGuire said.

Guzmán, however, was transferred to a prison in Ciudad Juárez. Coronel told the witness that she and others were trying to transfer « El Chapo » back to the Altiplano prison, where escape « would be possible. »

Coronel allegedly told the witness that approximately $ 2 million had been paid to the official who ran Mexico’s prisons to carry out the transfer to the Altiplano.

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Guzmán never returned to said jail.

According to McGuire, Coronel – who married Guzmán in 2007 when she was a teenager – was familiar with the world of drug trafficking because her father, Inés Coronel Barreras, was arrested in 2013 along with one of his sons and others in Arizona in a warehouse. full of marijuana.

Guzmán, one of the best known drug traffickers in the world, and Coronel are the parents of twins born in 2011 and whom their mother took to the Brooklyn court a couple of times for their father to see.

Coronel was mentioned several times during her husband’s trial, in which a witness testified that she played a key role in Guzmán’s escape in 2015 in which his partners built a tunnel that led to the shower in « El Chapo’s cell. « .

Dámaso López Nuñez, who worked for Guzmán, testified in the Brooklyn trial that Coronel helped Guzmán communicate with his children and others who coordinated the escape from the Altiplano jail.

Following the sentencing of her husband in 2019, Coronel launched a clothing brand named after her.

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Coronel’s attorney, Jeffrey Lichtman, told the AP he had no comment regarding the arrest.

Mike Vigil, former head of international operations for the US drug agency DEA, said Coronel « was involved in the drug traffic since I was a little girl. Know well how the Sinaloa Cartel« .

« I think the Chapitos (Guzmán’s sons from previous relationships) and Ismael ‘El Mayo’ Zambada (who is presumed to be the current leader of the cartel) are shaking now, » he said. Colonel « will cooperate (with the US authorities), I have no doubt, » Vigil said. « She has great motivation and those are her twins. »