El Chapo’s wife transferred to Long Beach halfway house to serve out prison term

A woman in sunglasses stands outdoors
Emma Coronel Aispuro, wife of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, arriving at federal court in New York in December 2018.
(Seth Wenig / Associated Press)

Emma Coronel Aispuro, wife of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, was transferred to a halfway house in Long Beach as part of her prison sentence for helping her husband run his multibillion-dollar criminal empire.

The former teenage beauty queen was born near San Francisco and married Guzmán when she was 18 and he was 50, according to a 2016 L.A. Times interview with Coronel. Because she is a U.S. citizen, Coronel was able to give birth to their twin daughters in Los Angeles County in 2011 while Guzmán was a fugitive in hiding.

Coronel was sentenced in November 2021 to three years in prison after she pleaded guilty to a money-laundering conspiracy charge and knowingly and willfully conspiring to distribute drugs. The 33-year-old Coronel was transferred from a federal prison in Forth Worth to a confinement facility, or halfway house, in Long Beach on May 30, a spokesperson with the Federal Bureau of Prisons said in a statement.


With Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán in prison, his sons have steered the family business into fentanyl, a U.S. federal indictment says.

May 1, 2023

Prosecutors also allege that Coronel helped plan her husband’s escape from prison in 2015 by smuggling a GPS watch disguised as a food item that helped him dig a tunnel underneath a Mexican prison.

During her sentencing in a Washington federal court, Coronel said she had “true regret for any and all harm” she caused, her words translated by a Spanish court interpreter. “I am here before you, asking for forgiveness,” she said.

Guzmán led the Sinaloa cartel for several years and is responsible for importing and distributing more than a million kilograms of cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin in the United States, according to federal prosecutors who brought charges against him in 2019 after his capture in northern Sinaloa and extradition to the United States. Cartel violence spread across Mexico as Guzmán and his accomplices directed hitmen to kidnap, interrogate, torture and slaughter members of rival drug organizations, at times carrying out acts of violence himself, authorities in Mexico and the U.S. said.

Guzmán is serving a life sentence plus 30 years in ADX Florence, a supermax prison in Colorado.