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Key to El Chapo's Big Escape: Wife's Gift of a GPS Watch

Emma Coronel Aispuro pleads guilty to helping run Mexican cartel, admits role in 2015 escape
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2021 1:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – Both heads of the El Chapo household are now guilty of running a drug cartel. Emma Coronel Aispuro, the 31-year-old wife of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, pleaded guilty in federal court in DC on Thursday to multiple charges including drug trafficking and money laundering, reports CNN. As part of the deal, Coronel also confessed to her role in assisting her husband's famous 2015 escape from a Mexican prison via a secret tunnel, per the Washington Post. Among other things, she bought property near the prison where the tunnel would be dug, and she arranged for her husband to illegally receive a GPS watch in order to help tunnelers find his cell.

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"The only thing I can tell you is that she is at peace with her decision," says Coronel attorney Mariel Caron. Coronel and Guzman have young twin daughters, and she hopes to get out of prison in the not-too-distant future. Her plea carries a possible sentence of up to 11 years, but prosecutors have said they're OK with leniency provided Coronel cooperates in further investigations. She'll be sentenced in September. The former beauty queen has been in custody since being arrested at Dulles airport in February, notes NPR. Her husband, who ran the Sinaloa cartel for three decades before his extradition to the US in 2017, is serving a life sentence at a prison in Colorado. (Read more El Chapo stories.)

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