This story was first published by The Dark Wire: an Investigation Foundation
Emma Coronel Aispuro, the wife of the notorious head of the Sinaloa Mexican drug cartel Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, was arrested at Dulles International Airport on Monday on international drug trafficking charges, the Justice Department announced.
Aispuro, 31, is charged with “participating in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana for importation into the U.S.,” according to DOJ officials. Her husband’s arrest and conviction didn’t end Sinaloa’s drug trade but flourished under her watchful eyes, as she traveled in and out of the United States on numerous occasions until the DOJ was able to build a case against her.
Former head of DEA’s Special Operations Division Derek Maltz, who was part of the hunt for “El Chapo,” told this reporter Tuesday, that she will be brought to justice, “just like ‘Chapo.'”
“We must hold all cartel members responsible for the death and destruction of record numbers of Americans and families. El Chapo’s wife conspired with others in the Sinaloa cartel to dump poisonous drugs into America,” Maltz said. “She walked across the porous border to L.A. where she had twins and then returned to the cartel business.”
He continued, “She won’t be able to blow kisses to ‘Chapo’ like she did in the Brooklyn court room during the trial. I am pleased to see she will be held accountable and her modeling career won’t be very productive from a U.S. prison.”
Aispuro is also alleged to have assisted Guzman with his July 11, 2015 escape from a Mexican prison and had an alleged role in another subsequent escape plan after he was re-arrested in January 2016.
Guzman was extradited to the U.S. in January 2017 and convicted in 2019 for his role as the head of the Sinaloa cartel.
“She, along with all the members of the cartels in Mexico are responsible for the death and destruction of so many Americans and it’s about time. I applaud the efforts of law enforcement who worked together and pursued the investigation against ‘Chapo,'” Maltz said.
“Law enforcement is relentless and will continue to pursue all these cartel members who are killing Americans at unprecedented levels. Last year, we had statistics reported through May of 2020 that there were 81,000 Americans who died, according to the CDC. This is a record level of death from drug overdoses. The Sinaloa cartel and conspirators like ‘El Chapo’s’ wife have been very responsible.”
“American law enforcement will continue to hold all of those cartel members responsible around the world who are everyday killing Americans at unprecedented levels,” Maltz concluded.
Aispuro will be making a video conference appearance at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Tuesday.
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Cuomo says he’ll ‘fully cooperate’ with NY AG’s review of sexual harassment claims
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Wednesday that he will “fully cooperate” with the state attorney general’s independent review into sexual harassment allegations made against the currently scandal-ridden governor, saying, “I fully support a woman’s right to come forward.”
Last Wednesday, Lindsey Boylan, who served in his administration for over three years, accused Cuomo of suggesting to her on a 2017 flight that they play strip poker, inappropriate touching, and kissing her on the lips without her consent.
Following Boylan’s accusations, 25-year-old Charlotte Bennett alleged the governor indicated interest in having an affair with her while she was serving in his administration as a health policy adviser. In a Saturday New York Times report, Bennett told the newspaper that Cuomo asked her if she had “ever been with an older man,” adding that “age doesn’t matter” in relationships.
At Wednesday’s press briefing, the Empire State governor addressed the accusations leveled against him over the past seven days by three women and New York Attorney General Letitia James’ (D) independent review into those claims, which she announced on Monday was formally proceeding.
“As you probably know, the attorney general is doing an independent review, and I will fully cooperate with that review,” Cuomo said at the beginning of his statement. “Now, the lawyers say I shouldn’t say anything when you have a pending review until that review is over. I understand that, I’m a lawyer, too. But, I want New Yorkers to hear from me directly on this.”
“First, I fully support a woman’s right to come forward,” the governor began. “And I think it should be encouraged in every way. I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it, and frankly I am embarrassed by it, and that’s not easy to say. But that’s the truth.”
This echoes what Cuomo said in a Sunday statement about the allegations, in which he stated he “may have been insensitive” during his tenure but charged his accusers of misinterpreting his actions, saying, “I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation… I am truly sorry about that.”
During his Wednesday remarks, Cuomo iterated “I never touched anyone inappropriately,” repeated that sentence, then said “I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable” and repeated that one too.
“And I certainly never, ever meant to offend anyone or hurt anyone or cause anyone any pain. That is the last thing I would ever want to do,” he continued. “I ask the people of this state to wait for the facts from the attorney general’s report before forming an opinion. Get the facts, please, before forming an opinion.”
“I also want you to know that I have learned from what has been an incredibly difficult situation for me as well as other people, and I’ve learned an important lesson,” the governor said at the end of his statement. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for whatever pain I caused anyone, I never intended it, and I will be the better for this experience.”
Amid Boylan and Bennett’s allegations, another report of Cuomo sexually harassing a woman has cropped up. On Monday, a woman named Anna Ruch accused the governor of placing his hands on her cheeks—without her consent—at a 2019 wedding reception and asking if he could kiss her. A photograph of the two together at the event has also been circulating on social media.
Asked at Wednesday’s briefing about the pictures that have resurfaced of him being touchy with people, particularly that of him and Ruch, the governor claimed that it is his way of greeting people.
“I understand the opinion of—and feelings of—Ms. Ruch,” Cuomo said. “You can find hundreds of pictures of me making the same gesture with hundreds of people—women, children, men, etc. You can go find hundreds of pictures of me kissing people. […] It is my usual and customary way of greeting.”
Moreover, the governor said that his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, would do the same thing.
“By the way, it was my father’s way of greeting people,” Cuomo said, explaining, “You’re the governor of the state, you want people to feel comfortable, you want to reach out to them.”
He also mentioned that he kisses and hugs legislators and noted that at an event in Queens the other day he hugged pastors and state assembly members.
Furthermore, the governor said that his intent “doesn’t matter,” saying, “What it matters is if anybody was offended by it.”
“But if they were offended by it, then it was wrong,” he added, going on to say that if they were offended or hurt by it, he apologizes.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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