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Wife of 'El Chapo' released after less than two years in prison for role in drug trafficking empire

Emma Coronel Aispuro, 34, was sentenced to three years in prison in November 2021 on charges that included conspiring to distribute drugs.
In this Dec. 6, 2018 file photo, Emma Coronel Aispuro, wife of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, arrives to federal court in New York. Despite her status as the wife of the world’s most notorious drug boss, Coronel Aispuro lived mostly in obscurity -- until her husband went to prison for life.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, the wife of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, arrives at federal court in New York in 2018.Seth Wenig / AP file

The wife of Mexican crime lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán was released Wednesday from prison after having served less than two years of a three-year sentence for helping her husband in his multibillion-dollar drug empire, federal authorities said.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons said in a statement to NBC News on Wednesday that Emma Coronel Aispuro was released from its custody.

Coronel Aispuro, 34, was sentenced to three years in prison in November 2021.

Earlier that year, Coronel Aispuro, who is a dual U.S.-Mexican citizen, pleaded guilty to multiple federal crimes, including conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana.

During her sentencing, she expressed remorse and shame, reported Telemundo, NBC’s Spanish-language network.

“I am here before you asking you for forgiveness,” Coronel Aispuro said in Spanish through an interpreter.

The judge also entered a forfeiture money judgment of nearly $1.5 million, proceeds of property Coronel Aispuro secured from the drug trade, the Justice Department said in a statement.

She was arrested in February 2021 at Dulles International Airport near Washington.

Before her arrest, she helped her husband, who was then the head of Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, escape from a high-security Mexican prison in 2015, U.S. justice officials have said.

Guzmán was caught and returned to prison, and two years later, his wife schemed another escape for him, officials say.

In 2019, Guzmán was convicted in the U.S. of engaging in a continual criminal enterprise and other counts of distributing tons of cocaine on U.S. soil. He is serving a sentence of life in prison plus 30 years.