Brother of Honduras President Charged with Cocaine Trafficking

Published: 29 November 2018

Tony Hernandez (Twitter)Tony Hernandez (Twitter)

By Jelter Meers

Authorities in the United States have arrested the brother of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez and charged him with drug trafficking, weapons offenses and lying to federal agents, the country’s Drug Enforcement Administration announced on Monday.

Former congressman Juan Antonio Hernandez Alvarado, aka “Tony Hernandez,” was arrested last week in Miami. He was charged in a federal court in New York for alleged offenses including arranging armed security for cocaine shipments and bribing Honduran law enforcement for protection, the DEA said.

“Hernandez and his criminal associates allegedly conspired with some of the world’s most deadly and dangerous transnational criminal networks in Mexico and Colombia to flood American streets with deadly drugs,” Raymond Donovan, a DEA agent involved in the case, was quoted as saying in a press release.

Prosecutors allege that between 2004 and 2016, multiple drug-trafficking organizations in Honduras and elsewhere worked together with support from Honduran politicians and law enforcement officials.

US law enforcement accuse Hernandez of involvement in the drug shipments since at least 2004. They allege his involvement in the trade gave him access to cocaine laboratories in both Honduras and Colombia.

The cocaine allegedly arrived to Honduras via planes, fast boats and, on at least one occasion, a submarine. It was then allegedly smuggled towards the United States.

Hernandez faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.