The wife of a Mexican drug lord will spend three years in prison for federal crimes in the U.S. for her efforts in helping his prison escapes.
A federal judge handed down the sentence on Nov. 30, according to media reports.
Emma Coronel Aispuropreviously pleaded guilty to drug-related charges. She is the wife of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera.
Guzman is the Mexican drug lord known as “El Mayo.” He is now in U.S. custody on a host of drug charges after his arrest in Mexico in 2016. Aispuro was arrested earlier this year at Dulles International Airport.
In February 2014, Guzman was arrested in Mexico and the U.S. asked that he be extradited to face the drug charges. He was housed at a Mexican prison and Aispuro went to visit him. She was used as a messenger and helped Guzman keep control of the operation while he was incarcerated, according to investigators.
The help allowed various drugs to be imported into the U.S., investigators claimed.
Aispuro also worked with Guzman’s four sons and others to help him break out of prison, investigators state.
At one point, Aispuro got $5 million that was used to help fund favorable prison conditions and facilitate his escape. Some of the money was to buy a property near the prison so a tunnel could be constructed to allow Guzman to escape.
Investigators say Aispuro was updated on the progress of the tunnel’s construction.
The tunnel ran directly below Guzman’s cell and on July 11, 2015, he escaped. He remained a fugitive until he was arrested again in Mexico about six months later.
Aispuro’s sentence is less than the four years that prosecutors sought, according to a sentencing memorandum filed a week before the formal hearing. She faced up to 14 years in prison.
Federal prosecutors also asked that Aispuro be forced to give up $1.5 million.