El Chapo’s wife will pay a reduced fine after being handed jail time for helping the notorious drug lord run the Sinaloa Cartel.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, 32, was arrested earlier this year. While US prosecutors lobbied for a four-year prison term for drug trafficking and money laundering charges, her guilty plea – and the fact she was 18 when she married Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán in 2007 – saw her sentenced to three years.
Judge Rudolph Contreras, for the US District Court for the District of Columbia, ruled she was a ‘minimal participant’ and asked her to raise her children in a better environment.
Contreras has since reduced her restitution payment from $1,499,970 to $511,734, the MailOnline reports. ‘This court determines, based on the evidence presented during the defendant’s guilty plea hearing, that a forfeiture sentence… for $511,734 is appropriate,’ a court document read. She’ll also pay $300 for three counts she earlier pleaded guilty to.
The judge found prosecutor Anthony Nardozzi had not provided enough evidence to justify the larger penalty amount.
While Coronel conceded to international drug trafficking, money laundering and violating the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, she asked the judge to be merciful in his ruling.
‘With all due respect, I address you today to express my true regret for any and all harm that I may have done, and I ask that you and all the citizens of this country forgive me,’ she said, fearing the judge would give her a large sentence due to being connected to El Chapo.
‘Maybe that’s why you feel the obligation to be a little harder on me. But I beg you not to. Today the suffering that I have caused my family when facing this situation hurts me a lot. My parents instilled in me respect, gratitude and honesty but they also taught me to accept my mistakes and ask for forgiveness for them.
‘[My children] were already growing up without one of their parents. That is why I beg you not to allow them to grow up without their mother, too.’
Her release from prison will come with four years of supervision. It’s unclear where she’ll serve her sentence at the time of writing, but her legal team have requested a Los Angeles institution. She could also be released early for good behaviour.
Jeffrey Lichtman, a defence attorney who also represented Guzmán in his US trial three years ago, said Coronel could now find herself in danger after anonymous law enforcement sources alleged she was cooperating with the government. ‘I’m not sure that she could ever go back home,’ he said, as per The Guardian.
El Chapo is currently serving a life sentence at the ADX Florence, a super maximum-security prison in Colorado.
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