Honduras brothers sentenced to life imprisonment in drug case

New York (AP) — The brothers of President Juan Orlando Hernandez of Honduras were sentenced to life imprisonment on Tuesday after being convicted of drugs.

Former Honduras congressman Juan Antonio “Tony” Hernandez was ordered to confiscate $ 138 million in Federal Court in Manhattan by Judge P. Kevin Castel of the US District Court.

Hernandez was convicted in October 2019 of being sentenced to a minimum of 40 years in prison.

Federal Attorney Matthew La Roche told the judge that Hernandez had helped mass transport cocaine to the United States for 15 years by paying millions of dollars to senior Honduras officials like his brother.

Hernandez’s lawyer, Peter Brill, argued generosity, saying that the United States should focus its efforts to prevent drug trafficking on the public’s greedy appetite for drugs.

In court documents, the prosecutor claimed life imprisonment, citing Tony Hernandez’s criminal history.

His brother was the leader of the Honduras Parliament before becoming president in January 2014.

“The defendant was a member of parliament in Honduras and, along with his brother Juan Orlando Hernandez, played a leading role in a state-sponsored violent drug trafficking plot,” the prosecutor wrote in a court document.

“For 15 years, the defendant has corrupted the democratic institutions of Honduras and enriched himself by transporting at least 185,000 kilograms of cocaine, an astonishing amount that helped him import into the United States. It’s poison, “the prosecutor wrote. They also say he sold weapons to drug traffickers. Some of them came from the Honduras military and managed drug laboratories in Colombia and Honduras.

“Between 2004 and 2019, the defendant secured millions of dollars in drug-derived bribes, including Juan Orlando Hernandez, former Honduras President Porfirio Robo Sosa, and other politics related to the Honduras National Party. I distributed it to my house, “said the prosecutor.

They claim that among these bribes was the infamous Mexican Capo Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzman to Juan Orlando Hernandez for $ 1 million.

President Hernandez has repeatedly denied relationships with drug traffickers, as did Robo, whose son is currently serving a 24-year drug trafficking sentence in the United States.

In court on Tuesday, Tony Hernandez appeared pale and depressed. When the defendant was given the opportunity to speak, he complained about his lawyer, saying he saw them very little and they responded very little to his email.

“I feel like I’m lying,” he said through an interpreter.

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