The former beauty queen faces a long prison term for helping her husband run the violent drug cartel from Sinaloa to Mexico.
The wife of Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has pleaded guilty in federal court to helping her husband run the Sinaloa poster of smugglers.
Dressed in a green prison jumpsuit and a white mask, Colonel Emma Aispuro appeared Thursday in U.S. District Court in Washington, DC.
She pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to distribute illegal drugs, conspiracy to launder money and engage in financial relations with the Sinaloa drug cartel.
As part of her pact, she admitted to helping her husband escape from a Mexican prison in 2015.
Colonel faces a possible life sentence for drug distribution charge. The other two charges against her carry maximum prison sentences of 20 and 10 years.
Without showing any obvious emotion and his face covered by a mask, Colonel said he understood the charges and repercussions of his conviction.
“Everything is clear,” he told the judge.
U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras set a tentative date for the Sept. 15 ruling.
The 31-year-old former beauty queen had been arrested in February at Dulles International Airport in Virginia on charges of sending messages to help Guzman traffic drugs from 2012 to early 2014.
Colonel continued to send messages while visiting him in a Mexican prison after his arrest in February 2014.
As the most powerful drug lord in Mexico, Guzman ran a cartel responsible for smuggling cocaine and other drugs into the United States during his 25-year reign, U.S. prosecutors said.
Guzman’s “assassin army,” or “assassins,” had orders to kidnap, torture, and kill anyone who stood in his way.
The Sinaloa cartel introduced more than 450,000 kg of cocaine, 90,000 kg of heroin, 45,000 kg of methamphetamine and about 90,000 kg of cannabis into the United States, prosecutors said.
Colonel was born in California and has U.S. and Mexican citizenship.
Guzman, 64, was recovered after escaping from prison and extradited to the United States where he was condemned in 2019 under the charge of designing the multimillion-dollar drug company of the Sinaloa cartel.
Guzman was sentenced by a New York federal court to life in prison for more than 30 years and is now locked up in a maximum security prison in Florence, Colorado.