US Jails Ex-Honduras President For 45 Years On Drugs Charges

US Jails Ex-Honduras President For 45 Years On Drugs Charges

A court in New York on Wednesday sentenced former Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernandez to 45 years in prison after he was convicted of trafficking hundreds of tons of cocaine into the United States.

Anti-Hernandez protesters gathered outside the Manhattan courthouse ahead of sentencing brandishing placards decrying the former head of state’s crimes.

The sentence, which also included an $8 million fine, was less than the life imprisonment that prosecutors had sought â€" although Hernandez’s age, 55, means he may die behind bars.

Hernandez, who US federal prosecutors said turned his Central American country into a “narco-state” during his presidency from 2014 to 2022, has previously indicated through his legal team he would appeal his conviction.

Hernandez was convicted in March of having facilitated the smuggling of some 500 tons of cocaine â€" mainly from Colombia and Venezuela â€" to the United States via Honduras since 2004, starting long before his presidency.

Hernandez used the drug money to enrich himself, finance his political campaign, and commit electoral fraud in the 2013 and 2017 presidential elections, prosecutors said.

He was extradited to the United States in 2022, accused of aiding drug smugglers in return for millions of dollars in bribes.

Hernandez follows in the footsteps of other former Latin American heads of state convicted in the United States, like Panama’s Manuel Noriega in 1992 and Guatemala’s Alfonso Portillo in 2014.

Source:- Punchng


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