Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman's pregnant daughter arrested at US border
Woman tried to enter San Diego with fake US visa and planned to give birth in Los Angeles
A woman claiming to be the daughter of the world's most-wanted drug trafficker was arrested at a California port of entry after trying to enter the US with fraudulent documents.
Alejandrina Gisselle Guzman Salazar allegedly told US customs officers at the San Ysidro border crossing last Friday that she was travelling to Los Angeles to give birth. After questioning, she admitted she was the daughter of Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman, the leader of Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel, said a US law enforcement official who was not authorised to speak about the case.
Guzman Salazar appeared on Monday at the downtown San Diego federal courthouse in a hearing held under heightened security. Her lawyers said their client was a medical doctor from Guadalajara who is seven months pregnant, but declined to comment on whether she was related to Guzman.
This is not the first time a relative of Guzman has travelled to the US to give birth.
Last year, Guzman's wife, Emma Coronel, went through the Calexico, California, border to Lancaster, Los Angeles, where she gave birth to twin girls. No effort was made to detain Coronel, who is a US citizen, because her documents were in order.
Guzman Salazar, who is a Mexican citizen, tried impersonating another woman when she presented her documents to customs officers at the border crossing linking Tijuana, Mexico, with San Diego, according to a criminal complaint. Her counterfeit US visa was detected and her true identity confirmed later through a fingerprint check.
Guzman Salazar is the daughter of Maria Alejandrina Salazar Hernandez, Guzman's first wife, according to the US official. In June, the US Treasury Department blacklisted Salazar Hernandez and her son, Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar, prohibiting US banks, companies or individuals from doing business with them and freezing their assets in the US.
Guzman Salazar, who was reportedly going to meet the father of her child who lives in Los Angeles, does not appear to be a key figure in her father's drug trafficking operations, the official said.
She probably wanted US citizenship for her child. "They like to have family who can go back and forth," the official said.
Guzman, who controls the bulk of cocaine and marijuana trafficking into the US from Mexico, has recently expanded his reach into Tijuana. US authorities have placed a US$5 million bounty on his head.
The next hearing for Guzman Salazar, who is being held without bail, is on October 25.