United States Calls for Life in Honduran President’s Brother | Corruption News

The US government wants Tony Hernandez to return $ 138.5 million in “blood money” and pay an additional $ 10 million fine.

A brother of the President of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez, should be sentenced to life in prison for leading a “state-sponsored drug trafficking plot” with the current leader of the country, according to US federal prosecutors in documents filed before a conviction hearing scheduled for next week.

Juan Antonio “Tony” Hernandez, former member of the Honduran Congress, was condemned in October 2019 for participating in a conspiracy to traffic cocaine in the United States involving the use of machine guns.

His conviction, which has been repeatedly delayed, is scheduled for Tuesday in New York.

Honduran woman holding sign outside Manhattan Federal Court in New York City as Tony Hernandez case pending [File: Claudia Torrens/AP Photo]

Documents filed by prosecutors in the Southern District of New York on Tuesday night, lay out Tony Hernandez’s criminal history, as well as where they overlapped with his brother, who was the leader of the Honduran National Congress before assuming the presidency in January 2014.

“The accused was a Honduran congressman who, along with his brother Juan Orlando Hernandez, played a leadership role in a violent state-sponsored drug trafficking conspiracy,” prosecutors wrote.

The US government wants Tony Hernandez to give up $ 138.5 million in “blood money” from his drug trafficking and pay an additional $ 10 million fine.

“Over a period of fifteen years, the accused corrupted democratic institutions in Honduras to enrich himself by transporting at least 185,000 kilograms of cocaine – a staggering amount of poison which he helped import into the United States,” wrote prosecutors. They say he also sold weapons to drug traffickers, some from the Honduran military, and drug control labs in Colombia and Honduras.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez speaking at a rally in support after his brother Juan Antonio “ Tony ” Hernandez was convicted of drug trafficking in the United States, outside the Presidential House in Tegucigalpa, Honduras [File: Jorge Cabrera/Reuters]

“Between 2004 and 2019, the accused obtained and distributed millions of dollars in drug-derived bribes to Juan Orlando Hernandez, former Honduran President Porfirio Lobo Sosa and other politicians associated with the Party national of Honduras, ”prosecutors said.

They allege that among these bribes, there was $ 1 million between famous Mexican capo Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and Juan Orlando Hernandez.

President Hernandez has repeatedly denied any connection to drug traffickers, as has Lobo, whose son is currently serving a 24-year prison sentence for drug trafficking in the United States.

Neither president has been charged.

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