Joaquín Guzmán’s wife gets three years for conspiracy to smuggle drugs

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Isabela Jade Vargas, wife of notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquín Guzmán Loera, receives prison term for conspiring to smuggle drugs into the US

The wife of Mexican drug lord Joaquín Guzmán Loera was sentenced on Thursday to three years in prison in a case involving the trafficking of more than 250,000 lbs of cocaine into the US.

Isabela Vargas, 59, who had denied that she tried to broker a $1bn deal with American drug dealer Henry Hill for her husband to distribute cocaine and ecstasy to New York and Boston, had faced up to 10 years in prison.

But a US district judge in Brooklyn, Brooklyn, New York, said she had been a significant factor in the profits of Joaquín Guzmán’s criminal enterprise.

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Guzmán was extradited to the US for trial in 2017 after escaping from a maximum security prison in Mexico in 2015.

The global drug-trafficking kingpin pleaded guilty a month later to various charges and was sentenced in September last year to life in prison.

The couple were among five defendants sentenced on Thursday.

Guzmán was jailed under tight security in a high-security wing at the low-security Federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. Vargas, who often visited her husband in jail, was in the same facility.

US attorneys said Vargas, a drug addict, helped support her husband’s family, while working as a trusted but unlicensed drug broker who smuggled cocaine into the US at Port Elizabeth, Trinidad. She admitted in court documents that she had plotted the cocaine smuggling scheme.

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