El Chapo’s Wife Declines Preliminary Hearing, Strong Sign She’s Cooperating

 

In a rare legal move that experts say is a possible indication of an impending plea deal, Emma Coronel Aispuro, the wife of the Mexican drug kingpin known as El Chapo, has agreed to let the prosecution against her proceed.

In court records filed Friday, Aispuro signed away her right to a preliminary hearing — a court proceeding where prosecutors present evidence to try and convince a judge they have enough to warrant a trial. It is unusual for federal defendants to sign such a waiver, and it’s usually seen as an admission that the prosecution’s evidence is extensive.

Daniel Horowitz, a California-based attorney who has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, and Court TV as a legal expert, told VladTV the most likely reason behind Aispuro’s move is that a plea deal is near finalization. He said generally, defendants who plan on fighting the case will wait for a grand jury indictment — the most typical second step after criminal charges are filed — rather than signing a waiver.

“What is her motive in doing that? Nine out of 10 times, it’s when there’s a deal in the works,” Horowitz said. “Generally, a defendant would want the grand jury to go forward, and at this point, the grand jury could indict her very quickly. This doesn’t mean she’s a snitch, but it does mean there’s very likely a deal in the works.”

Aispuro was arrested on federal charges last month of conspiracy to import one kilogram or more of heroin, five kilograms or more of cocaine, 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana, and 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.

Prosecutors have also accused her of aiding El Chapo’s 2015 escape from a Mexican prison and of plotting a second escape attempt after he was re-captured in 2016. Aispuro has remained in federal custody since her February arrest.

Numerous reports have speculated that she will cooperate with the federal government in exchange for leniency, but thus far no deals have been announced.

Written by: Nate Gartrell

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