What to Know
The brother of the current president of Honduras is facing federal drug and weapons charges, prosecutors in New York announced Monday
Juan Antonio Hernandez Alvarado, 40, also known as “Tony Hernandez,” was charged with conspiring to import cocaine into the US
He also faces charges for possession of machine guns and destructive devices, and making false statements to US agents, prosecutors say
The brother of the current president of Honduras is facing drug and weapons charges in the United States, prosecutors in New York announced Monday.
Juan Antonio Hernandez Alvarado, 40, also known as “Tony Hernandez,” was charged with conspiring to import cocaine into the United States, related weapons offenses involving the use and possession of machineguns and destructive devices, and making false statements to federal agents, according to Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman.
Hernandez, who was arrested on Nov. 23 in Miami, is a former congressman of Honduras and the brother of the Central American country's current president, Juan Orlando Hernandez.
According to prosecutors in New York, from around 2004 to 2016, multiple drug-trafficking organizations in Honduras allegedly worked together in conjunction with prominent public and private individuals, including Honduran politicians and law enforcement officials to receive cocaine sent to Honduras from, among other places, Colombia, and to transport the drugs toward the border with Guatemala and eventually the United States.
Allegedly, the drug traffickers paid bribes to public officials, including members of the National Congress of Honduras, of which Hernandez is a former member.
Prosecutors say Hernandez is a large-scale drug trafficker who worked with others to import cocaine into the United States and was involved in processing, receiving, transporting and distributing drug shipments that arrived in Honduras.
Additionally, according to court documents, the cocaine Hernandez allegedly trafficked was sometimes stamped with his initials, "TJ."
If convicted, Hernandez faces up to life in prison for conspiring to import cocaine into the United States and weapons charges. If convicted on the making false statements to federal agents charge, Hernandez faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Attorney information for Hernandez was not immediately available.