Former Honduran President Sentenced For Serving to Visitors Cocaine Into U.S.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández was sentenced Wednesday in New York for his conviction on costs that he enabled drug traffickers to make use of his army and nationwide police power to assist get tons of cocaine into america.

Decide P. Kevin Castel sentenced Hernández to 45 years in a U.S. jail and fined him $8 million. A jury convicted him in March in Manhattan federal courtroom after a two-week trial, which was carefully adopted in his dwelling nation.

“I am innocent,” Hernández stated at his sentencing. “I was wrongly and unjustly accused.”

Castel known as Hernández a “two-faced politician hungry for power” who protected a choose group of traffickers.

Hernández was in a full inexperienced jail uniform as he stood in courtroom along with his legal professionals. Two U.S. marshals stood behind him.

Prosecutors had sought a sentence of life in jail, plus 30 years.

Hernández, 55, served two phrases because the chief of the Central American nation of roughly 10 million individuals.

Hernández was arrested at his dwelling in Tegucigalpa, the Honduran capital, three months after leaving workplace in 2022 and was extradited to the U.S. in April of that yr.

Juan Orlando Hernandez is escorted by members of the Honduran Particular Forces to be extradited to U.S. on costs of taking bribes from drug traffickers on April 21, 2022 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. (Picture by Jorge Cabrera/Getty Photographs)

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U.S. prosecutors say Hernández labored with drug traffickers as way back as 2004, taking thousands and thousands of {dollars} in bribes as he rose from rural congressman to president of the Nationwide Congress after which to the nation’s highest workplace.

Hernández acknowledged in trial testimony that drug cash was paid to just about all political events in Honduras, however he denied accepting bribes himself.

Hernández insisted in a prolonged assertion made by means of an interpreter that his trial was unjust as a result of he was not allowed to incorporate proof that might have induced the jury to search out him not responsible. He stated he was being persecuted by politicians and drug traffickers.

“It’s as if I had been thrown into a deep river with my hands bound,” he stated.

Trial witnesses included traffickers who admitted accountability for dozens of murders and stated Hernández was an enthusiastic protector of among the world’s strongest cocaine sellers, together with infamous Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, who’s serving a life jail time period within the U.S.

His brother, Juan Antonio “Tony” Hernández, a former Honduran congressman, was sentenced to life in a U.S. jail in 2021 in Manhattan federal courtroom for his personal conviction on drug costs.

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