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Wife of "El Chapo" expected to plead guilty to helping him run his multi-billion dollar drug empire

El Chapo's wife to plead guilty
El Chapo's wife to plead guilty 02:51

The wife of notorious Mexican drug kingpin "El Chapo" is expected to plead guilty this week to charges stemming from her alleged assistance in helping him run his multi-billion dollar empire, a person familiar with the matter confirmed to CBS News Investigative Unit senior producer Pat Milton.

Her anticipated plea was first reported by The New York Times, which also cites a person familiar with the matter. It was also confirmed by Agence France-Presse.

The Times says she'll also plead guilty to helping him escape from a high-security Mexican prison after one of his arrests.

The newspaper says Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, is expected to enter her plea on Thursday in Federal District Court in Washington, D.C.

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Emma Coronel Aispuro, wife of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman leaves U.S. Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn after the guilty verdict was announced at her husband's trial on February 12, 2019. KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images

Aispuro was arrested by U.S. authorities at Dulles International Airport outside Washington in February on suspicion of aiding her husband's drug trafficking business.

The former beauty queen was slapped with one charge of conspiracy to traffic cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana for importation into the United States.

A guilty plea could help reduce her sentence.

Joaquin Guzman was the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, one of Mexico's most notorious drug trafficking groups.

He ran an operation that delivered hundreds of tons of narcotics into the United States and was behind multiple murders of those who crossed him, according to court filings.

He was extradited to the United States in 2017 to stand trial and convicted and sentenced to life in prison two years later.

Coronel, according to the Justice Department, took part in cartel activities and also allegedly assisted in two plots to help Guzman escape from Mexican prison, including the successful first one in 2015.

Guzman is now in the highest-security prison in the United States, the ADX federal prison in Florence, Colorado.

A dual US-Mexico citizen and the mother of twins by Guzman, Coronel, 32 years younger than her husband, appeared in court nearly every day of his three-month trial in New York.

She had been barred from all contact with him during more than two years of pre-trial detention.

But during the trial, each day as he entered and left the courtroom, Guzman touched his heart and blew her a kiss.

During the trial, there were suggestions that she was involved in his business and prison escape, but authorities let her come and go freely.

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