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Former Mexican legislator linked to ‘El Chapo’ charged in drug conspiracy

SAN DIEGO — A former Mexican legislator linked to notorious drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was charged Thursday with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and made her first appearance in San Diego federal court.

Lucero Guadalupe Sanchez Lopez was arrested Wednesday morning at the Otay Mesa Cross Border Xpress, a bridge that connects Tijuana’s A..L. Rodriguez International Airport with San Diego.

Magistrate Judge Barbara Major ordered Sanchez held without bail based on government claims of risk of flight and set a detention hearing for June 29.

Authorities said Sanchez is a former legislator from Sinaloa, Mexico, home base for Chapo’s drug cartel.

Sanchez visited Guzman in September 2014 at a prison in Altiplano, Mexico, and months later he escaped through a tunnel that ran under his cell.

She has denied media reports that she is El Chapo’s girlfriend.

Guzman was recaptured in January 2016 and was extradited to the United States to face charges.