Woman said to be drug lord's daughter is freed
SAN DIEGO (AP) — A pregnant woman who identified herself to U.S. border inspectors as a daughter of Mexico's most-wanted drug lord returned to Mexico after pleading guilty to an immigration charge.
Alejandrina Gisselle Guzman Salazar, 31, pleaded guilty in San Diego on Monday to fraud and misuse of visas, and U.S. District Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo immediately ordered her release.
"She's happy to be back in Mexico and out of custody to have her baby," her attorney, Guadalupe Valencia, said Wednesday. "She's a doctor and will go back to her life before she was arrested."
Guzman Salazar identified herself as a daughter of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, head of Mexico's Sinaloa cartel, when she tried to enter the U.S. at San Diego's San Ysidro port of entry Oct. 12, according to U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss aspects of the investigation that have not been made public.
Guzman Salazar told border inspectors she intended to go to Los Angeles to give birth to her child, according to a criminal complaint. Valencia said Wednesday that she is about eight months pregnant.
In an agreement with prosecutors, she acknowledged attempting to enter the U.S. on someone else's visa and agreed to leave the country if ordered by immigration authorities. Prosecutors agreed to drop charges of making false statements and identity theft.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection does not comment on individual cases, spokeswoman Angelica DeCima said when asked about Guzman Salazar's status. Valencia said she was back in Mexico on Tuesday.
The Sinaloa cartel, named after the Pacific coast state of the same name, controls trafficking along much of the U.S. border with Mexico, particularly in western states.
Guzman Salazar's mother is Maria Alejandrina Hernandez Salazar, according to one U.S. official. The U.S. Treasury Department described Hernandez Salazar as Joaquin Guzman's wife when it imposed financial sanctions on her in June.