Wife of Chicago drug dealer tied to El Chapo says U.S. can’t prosecute, citing immunity deal
Vivianna Lopez, the wife of Pedro Flores, points to her husband’s testimony against El Chapo as evidence of a deal to spare her from criminal charges in the case.
The wife of one of Chicago’s most prolific cocaine dealers says federal prosecutors granted her immunity from prosecution during their investigation of Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera, so she shouldn’t have to face a pending money-laundering indictment tied to her husband’s drug proceeds.
In a Dec. 24 filing in federal court in Chicago, Vivianna Lopez pointed to an exchange between prosecutors and her husband Pedro Flores, who testified against Guzman at the kingpin’s trial in 2018 in New York.
Prosecutor asked, “Was your wife ever charged with collecting drug debts?” Flores answered, “No, she was given immunity.”
Lopez’s lawyer says prosecutors either gave her immunity or “knowingly elicited her husband’s perjured testimony at the El Chapo trial.”
Lopez is asking a judge to order prosecutors to turn over any documents describing any immunity or “non-prosecution” agreements with her.
Lopez’s husband and his twin brother Margarito Flores surrendered to authorities in 2008 and became informants against Guzman. In exchange, they received relatively light sentences of 14 years in prison, while Guzman was sentenced to life.
In June, Lopez and Valerie Gaytan, the wife of Margarito Flores, were charged in Chicago with helping to stash hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug money over a dozen years, starting in 2008. The money paid for schools for the twins’ children, Lopez’s student loans and even an exercise bike, according to the indictment.
Contributing: Jon Seidel