A pregnant woman who identified herself as the daughter of Sinaloa drug cartel boss Joaquin "El Chapo" (Shorty) Guzman, the world's most-wanted drug trafficker, appeared in federal court in Los Angeles on charges that she tried to enter the United States using someone else's passport, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.
Alejandrina Gisselle Guzman Salazar was arrested last Friday at the port of entry in San Ysidro, California, near San Diego, the newspaper said, citing a high-level U.S. law enforcement official.
"Guzman Salazar allegedly told U.S. customs officers that she was traveling to Los Angeles to give birth," the newspaper said, citing the unidentified official, who is not authorized to speak about the case.
The young woman, who appeared in court Monday under tight security, is being represented by attorneys Jan Ronis and Guadalupe Valencia.
The attorneys, known for representing drug traffickers, said Guzman Salazar, who is seven months pregnant, is a doctor in Guadalajara, but they refused to comment on her relationship to Chapo Guzman.
The newspaper noted that the young woman was not the first relative of Guzman to travel to the United States to give birth.
Emma Coronel, who married Guzman in 2007, gave birth to twin girls on Aug. 15, 2011, at a hospital in Southern California.
The former beauty queen gave birth at Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster and left the father's name blank on the girls' birth certificates.
Coronel, who is a U.S. citizen, was not arrested because she faces no charges in the United States.
The young woman returned to Mexico after giving birth to her daughters.
Guzman Salazar, a Mexican citizen, tried to use someone else's passport to enter the United States from Tijuana, Mexico, officials said.
U.S. law enforcement agents spotted the falsified visa in the Mexican passport she was carrying and confirmed her identity using fingerprints.
Guzman Salazar is the daughter of Maria Alejandrina Salazar Hernandez, the drug lord's first wife, the official told the Los Angeles Times.
"She probably wanted her children to have U.S. citizenship, which is customary for many organized crime networks," the newspaper said.
"They like to have family members that can go back and forth," the official told the Los Angeles Times.
Chapo Guzman has been on the list of U.S. drug kingpins since June 1, 2001.
The Sinaloa organization, sometimes referred to by Mexican officials as the Pacific cartel, is the oldest drug cartel in Mexico and has an extensive drug distribution network in the United States.
Guzman, who was arrested in Guatemala in 1993 and pulled off a Hollywood-style jailbreak when he escaped from the Puente Grande maximum-security prison in the western state of Jalisco on Jan. 19, 2001, is considered the most powerful drug trafficker in the world.
Chapo Guzman tops the list of Mexico's 37 most-wanted criminals and is on the Forbes list of the world's richest people.
The Sinaloa cartel, according to intelligence agencies, is a transnational business empire that operates in the United States, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the Americas and Asia. EFE