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Wife of “El Chapo” Released from U.S. Prison, Son Extradited

On September 13, 2023, the wife of former Mexican drug cartel leader Joaquín “el Chapo” Guzmán was released from custody of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP). Emma Coronel Aispuro, 34, had served just under two years of a three-year sentence handed down in November 2021 for her role in her husband’s Sinaloa Cartel, as well as his 2015 escape from a Mexican prison. Guzmán, 66, is serving a 30-year prison sentence at BOP’s ADX “Supermax” lockup in Colorado for running the violent cartel.

His wife’s release came just two days before his son, Ovidio Guzmán López, 33— also known as “the mouse”—was extradited to the U.S. to face drug charges. Guzmán López and his brothers— Ivan Archivaldo Guzman Salazar, Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar and Joaquin Guzman Lopez—are accused of leading the cartel into fentanyl production and distribution after their father’s imprisonment. The other three have also been charged but have not been captured.

Mike Vigil, the former head of international operations for the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), pointed to tough talk from some members of the U.S. Congress about invading Mexico to take on the cartel, calling it “political theater” that might have pressured the Mexican government to move on the extradition. Afterward, rumors spread that the cartel ordered a halt to the fentanyl trade, but another former DEA official said he wasn’t buying it.

“Sinaloa is too heavily invested in fentanyl and its revenue to pull out,” added the former official, Jack Riley. “I believe they are trying to gain favor with the Mexican government and bring heat on their largest competitor.”  

Sources: AP News, Chicago Sun Times, NBC News

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