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Honduras president's brother accused of conspiring to import tons of cocaine to the United States

Juan Antonio Hernandez Alvarado. A brother to Honduras president Juan Orlando Hernandez was accused of federal prosecutors on Monday for…

A brother to Honduras president Juan Orlando Hernandez was accused of federal prosecutors on Monday for conspiracy to import tons of cocaine into the United States, as well as violent crime and lies for federal agents.

Juan Antonio Hernandez Alvarado, aka Tony Hernandez, was arrested Friday in Miami and would appear in the federal court there on Monday.

Federal prosecutor in New York described the suspect, a former Honduran congress leader, as “a great” who worked for more than a decade of compatriots and traffickers based in Mexico, Colombia and other countries to receive, process and distribute cocaine going through Honduras on their way to the United States. Hernandez used cocaine laboratories in Honduras and Colombia, where some drug packages were stamped with the initials “TH”, according to investigators.

Prosecutors also said that Hernandez coordinated and sometimes provided security for drugs in Honduras, even with the help of members of the country’s national police force for the job.

The drug-related corruption laws swirling around Tony Hernandez have cast a shadow over his brother’s government in a Central American country, an important transit center for cocaine.

Honduras is also the home country of thousands of immigrants who have recently traveled to and now camp at the U.S. border with Mexico, saying they are releasing a poor economy and oppressive gangbreak.

<img src = “https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/09/640/320/Hernandez-Drug-Hit.jpg?ve= 1 & tl = 1 “alt =” Image: Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez 2015. [19659010] Formatted: Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez 2015.
(Getty Images, File)

“Hernandez was involved in all stages of human trafficking through Honduras by several tons of cocaine intended for the United States,” said US lawyer Geoffrey Berman in a statement. Raymond Donovan, head of the US Drug Enforcement Administration, said Hernandez was accused of working with “some of the world’s most deadly and dangerous transnational criminal networks” to “flood US streets with deadly drugs.”

The prosecution also claimed Hernandez paid and took bribes to reduce the flow of drugs and money – sometimes pay off law enforcement officials for information to protect drugs, and in others to seek bribery for themselves and other senior officials.

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A convicted trafficker, Devis Leonel Rivera Maradiaga, testified last year in New York that Hernandez asked him for bribes in exchange for state contracts. Rivera tried to get the Honduran government to pay its debts to a company that his cartel used to wash money.

The prosecution said that Rivera paid Tony Hernandez $ 50,000 during his video-recorded 2014 meeting.

In a statement after the testimony, Tony Hernandez denied involvement in illegal activities and said he was “disposed of by Honduras or international justice for any investigation”.

He noted that he had given a voluntary testimony to American investigators in Miami in 2016 and testified to Honduras “Public Ministry last year.”

“I strongly confirm that I am ready to cooperate with any investigation conducted in a serious manner” he said. “And as I did before, I’m ready to introduce myself to US authorities if required because the one who is not guilty, not afraid.”

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Following his brother’s arrest on Friday, the president’s government repeated a previous statement that “no one is above the law, and every person must be entitled to a legitimate defense and be assumed innocent. “

The statement also said that the president claims that everyone is responsible for his actions and can not change responsibility to other people. The government said it would see justice done with” absolute transparency and strict compliance with the law. “

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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