LONG BEACH, Calif. - Emma Coronel Aispuro, the wife of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, is now free.
Coronel Aispuro was sentenced in 2021 to three years in prison after pleading guilty to helping her husband run his multibillion-dollar criminal empire.
Coronel Aispuro also helped her husband plan a dramatic escape through a tunnel dug underneath a prison in Mexico in 2015 by smuggling a GPS watch to him disguised as a food item, prosecutors said.
The wife of "El Chapo", Emma Coronel Aispuro (L), listens as attorney Michelle Gelernt answers questions from reporters outside the US Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn after a hearing in the case of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman February 3, 2017 in New Yor
That helped those digging the tunnel pinpoint his location and reach him. The leader of the Sinaloa cartel was recaptured the following year.
Prosecutors had asked for four years in prison, but U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras imposed a shorter term, saying her role was a small piece of a much larger organization.
- Wife of Mexican drug lord 'El Chapo' sentenced to 3 years in prison on US charges
- Wife of drug kingpin 'El Chapo' pleads guilty to US charges
- El Chapo's son Ovidio Guzmán arrested in Mexico
She had faced a minimum of 10 years in prison, but was subject to a so-called "safety valve" provision because she had no criminal record, was not considered a leader and was not involved with violence.
She previously pleaded guilty to three federal offenses as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors. She also surrendered $1.5 million.
The charges include knowingly and willfully conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine for several years. She also pleaded guilty to a money-laundering conspiracy charge and to engaging in transactions with a foreign narcotics trafficker.
Picture taken from a tv screen of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman displayed during a press conference held at the Secretaria de Gobernacion in Mexico City, on July 13, 2015. (Photo by YURI CORTEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
She also helped buy land for the tunnel and smuggle Guzman’s messages to his subordinates while he was in prison, which allowed him to stay in control of the Sinaloa cartel while behind bars.
She was arrested in February at Dulles International Airport in Virginia and has been jailed since then. She will also serve four years of supervised release after the prison sentence.
Coronel Aispuro married Guzman in 2007 at the age of 18. They have two daughters.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.