Daughter of Accused Drug Lord Deported to Mexico
POSTED: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 - 12:14pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 - 8:17pm
U.S. officials have deported a woman believed to be the daughter of Mexico's most wanted drug lord.
Alejandrina Gisselle Guzman Salazar was deported on Tuesday, her lawyer said, a day after she pleaded guilty in federal court to possession of a false visa.
Shortly after Guzman Salazar's arrest in October, a U.S. federal official told CNN that she was the daughter of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who authorities have said heads Mexico's Sinaloa cartel.
On Wednesday, her lawyers declined to comment on whether she was related to the accused drug lord.
"I don't know the answer to that, and it wasn't part of the case. ... We never asked, because it wasn't relevant, whether it was true or not," attorney Guadalupe Valencia said.
Another attorney for Guzman Salazar, Jan Ronis, said he watched her cross into Tijuana, Mexico, on Tuesday, but he declined to comment on where she headed after that.
In October, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents arrested Guzman Salazar at the international crossing in San Ysidro, California. A spokeswoman for the agency declined to comment Wednesday on whether she had been deported, citing privacy rules.
U.S. District Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo ordered her released on time served after a hearing Monday, according to court documents. In a plea agreement, she admitted to possessing and attempting to use a fraudulent visa to gain entry to the United States.
Guzman Salazar is between seven and eight months' pregnant, Valencia said. She entered with a false visa in October because she wanted to give birth in the United States, he said.
"All these facts were part of the public record that she wanted to come and have her baby here," he said. "We live in the greatest country in the world, and people want to come here to live and give their kids an opportunity to be here, so that was it."
Guzman Salazar is a doctor working as a general practitioner, he said.
"When she's back in Mexico, hopefully she can go on living her normal private life," Valencia said.
"El Chapo" Guzman is the boss of the Sinaloa cartel, one of Mexico's most powerful drug trafficking operations.
His nickname, which means "shorty," matches his 5-foot-6-inch frame, though he has climbed to great heights in the drug smuggling business. Forbes magazine has estimated "El Chapo" is worth $1 billion.
The U.S. Treasury Department has declared him the most influential trafficker in the world, and Mexican authorities have been on his tail since his 2001 escape from a Mexican prison in a laundry cart.