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The lawyer for Emma Coronel Aispuro, the wife of the incarcerated drug lord known as 'El Chapo', has accused the US government of trying to get her family killed by passing on rumours she is set to cooperate with prosecutors.
The former drug lord's spouse was arrested at Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia and appeared at federal court in Washington DC last month (23 February), where she is now being held in prison after being charged with helping to run the Sinaloa cartel.
The Daily Mail reports that the 31-year-old's lawyer, Jeffrey Lichtman, is now claiming federal officers are sending out rumours that she is prepared to assist the US in bringing down the multi-billion dollar criminal syndicate.
Lichtman, who also served as her husband Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán's lead trial counsel, appeared on WABC's The Other Side of Midnight where he alleged that the rumours were designed to get her family murdered.
"I'm not going to comment on what she is or what she isn't going to do," he said, adding that the whole thing was 'most despicable' and the 'worst prosecutorial governmental misconduct' he's experienced in three decades.
"I've been involved with fabrication of evidence, destroying evidence, lying to judges, lying to juries by the feds, but to actually put this out there is an attempt to murder her and her family," he said.
"Let's be clear about this. She's got two nine-year-old girls that are exposed, obviously, and to put this out there so flippantly is designed to kill them."
Aispuro married 63-year-old El Chapo in 2007 when she was just 18, and the pair went on to have twin daughters Emali Guadalupe and Maria Joaquina together.
Back in 2019, when El Chapo stood trial and was subsequently sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years for drug trafficking and money laundering offences, Aispuro refused to conspire with US agents.
However, following her recent capture, sources close to the case reportedly told Vice that rather than being a huge coup for the police, it looks more like Aispuro was cooperating with the authorities.
Lichtman was also outspoken about this news when asked about the alleged surrender, accusing US government officials of providing the information to the publication.
He told Vice: "I'm stunned that the feds would do this. There's zero chance it's anyone else... I'm happy to respond to this allegation if you tell me who leaked it. But I'll be damned if I'm going to respond to a cowardly anonymous leaker with a pointed on the record rejoinder."
Vice would not provide the name/s of its source/s.
Speaking to the Sun, US drug cop Mike Vigil said Aispuro could cause a huge amount of damage to the Sinaloa drug cartel if she chose to cooperate.
He told the publication: "Emma Coronel has always been a narco princess. Her father Inez and her brother Omar were drug traffickers when she was growing up.
"When she married Chapo Guzmán the families merged. Guzmán brought in her father and brother to be his top lieutenants. The cartels trust their family members more than anybody else," adding: "Her life is in danger if she co-operates."
On 22 February, the US Justice Department revealed that the 31-year-old had been charged with one count of conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines for unlawful importation into the United States.
Aispuro is also alleged to have helped El Chapo, real name Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán Loera, to escape from Altiplano prison in Mexico back in 2015.
During her first appearance at court, Aispuro's lawyer agreed with the judge that their client would remain jailed while the case proceeds.
Guzmán used to be the head of the Sinaloa cartel, which officials say was the largest supplier of drugs to the whole of the United States.
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