‘I’m no kingpin’: NYPD cop who protected El Chapo’s wife gives jailhouse interview

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An NYPD cop who moonlighted as a bodyguard for El Chapo’s wife broke down in tears during a jailhouse interview Friday, in which he insisted he had no idea who he was working for when he took the job and that he quit after one day when he found out.

“I had never seen that women and never saw her again,” Ishmail Bailey, 36, who’s now jailed on first-degree coke-dealing charges, exclusively told The Post of working for the drug kingpin’s wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro.

“I’m no kingpin,” he said. “I’m a family man.”

The self-described financially-strapped dad of three told The Post he took a job with a security company to help make ends meet, and only learned when he showed up for work that day that he would be guarding Coronel Aispuro during the drug conspiracy trial of her husband, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

“Once I knew who she was, that was it,” he said, claiming without details that he gave that day’s pay away.

“I wanted nothing to do with it,” he added.

Bailey got on the radar of NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau this past winter when embarrassing news photos showed him acting as the wife’s bodyguard.

NYPD cop Ishmael Bailey (right), who was busted for dealing cocaine on Wednesday, provides protection for El Chapo's wife.
NYPD cop Ishmael Bailey (right), who was busted for dealing cocaine on Wednesday, provides protection for El Chapo’s wife.Paul Martinka

Nine months later, IAB and the Queens DA squad caught Bailey in an elaborate drug sting — in which he was allegedly “hired” to transport and protect what he thought was a total of five kilos of cocaine.

“I never sold drugs,” Bailey insisted of the charges.

“That’s not me. You can ask anyone on the force; you can look up my record. I’ve never had any complaints about me, not from people I’ve arrested or from cops I’ve worked with. I’ve always helped anyone who needed it. If they asked, I was there,” he said.

“I know I put myself in a bad situation. I was just trying to provide for my family. Being a cop is everything. I never wanted to shame the department. I would do anything to keep my job.”

He added, “I’ve never been in trouble. This is the first time I’ve seen a pair of handcuffs that I wasn’t putting on someone else,” he said of his arrest.

Bailey is definitely in trouble now, according to the criminal complaint against him.

Undercovers twice surveilled Bailey as he drove duffle bags of kilo packages between addresses in Queens — and he personally handled the packages, the complaint alleges.

Unable to post $25,000 bail, Bailey has been in jail since his arrest Wednesday on A-1 level felony drug possession and sales charges that carry a mandatory minimum sentence of eight years prison — and the potential for up to 20 years behind bars.

The Post could not verify that Bailey only worked for the kingpin’s wife for a single day because he refused to provide the name of the security company.

His lawyer, Jeffrey D. Cohen, also declined to give details on the company, saying he is still investigating Bailey’s case.

Bailey remained Friday at the Vernon C. Bain Center in The Bronx; he is suspended without pay from the NYPD and is due back in court October 3.

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