The lawyer for Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán's wife is content with knowing that the mother of the jailed drug lord's twin daughters will not be spending the rest of her life behind bars.
Emma Coronel, 32, is scheduled to appear before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Tuesday and is expected to be sentenced to four years in prison, a recommendation made two weeks ago by U.S. federal prosecutors.
'Part of me is happy that the government recognized her minimal role, part of me is very sad because she suffered greatly over the last year,' criminal defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman said in an interview that aired on Noticias Telemundo on Monday.
Emma Coronel, the wife of Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán, will be sentenced in a Washington, D.C. federal court Tuesday. Prosecutors have recommended a four-year sentence
Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán is serving a life sentence at ADX Florence in Colorado
Coronel, who was born in California and was only 18 years old when she married a then-50-year-old El Chapo in 2007, pleaded guilty on June 10, acknowledging she conspired to traffic drugs and launder money for Sinaloa Cartel kingpin.
El Chapo was convicted on February 12, 2019 and is serving a life sentence at the ADX Florence super maximum security prison in Florence, Colorado.
The former beauty queen, who was arrested at Dulles International Airport in Virginia on February, was looking at a lengthy jail sentence before her legal team sought the safety valve exception, which required Coronel to meet a series of guidelines that would reduce her sentence.
Under the exception, she would have had to prove she was not the 'leader, organizer, or supervisor in the commission of the offense' and that she can show she did not use 'violence in the commission of the offense, and the offense must not have resulted in serious injury.'
The safety valve exception also required Coronel to 'tell the government all that he knows of the offense and any related misconduct.'
It appears she checked off each of the boxes.
'Emma Coronel is not going away to jail for the rest of her life and she wasn't even going to jail for 10 years,' Lichtman told the network. 'She was a very minimal participant.'
Prosecutors also asked that Emma Coronel be sentenced to five years of supervised release and pay a $1.5 million fine
Emma Coronel was only 18 when she married a then 50-year-old Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán in 2007
According to a court document, U.S. prosecutors also asked that she be sentenced to five years of supervised release and pay a $1.5 million fine.
Lichtman also told Noticias Telemundo that Coronel would not be placed in a witness protection program and would not cooperate with the federal prosecutors in any future investigations of the transnational drug trafficking organization that El Chapo co-founded and is now under the control of his four sons and an old associate, Ismael 'El Mayo' Zambada.
Mariel Colón, who also forms part of a defense team that also represented El Chapo, told Univision earlier this month that Coronel would not provide any information on the cartel to federal investigators because doing so would have exposed her daughters and family members.
'She has (her two) girls in Mexico and it is very well known what happens to cooperators or to the family of collaborators,' Colón said. 'Then why expose, risk the lives of her girls, the life of her family, when there is another resource that can help her and allow her to leave in the same time that she would have left if she had cooperate.'