The US Embassy named Captain Rodriguez Orellana along with six others in a press release, as persons the US was investigating for their links to corruption and narco-trafficking on October 7. At that time the Honduran Military suspended him from his duties providing security to the Joint Command in Comayaguela and confined him to quarters.
They did not silence him however, and on Monday, October 10th he began talking with the press, calling in to the TV Program Frente a Frente and programs on Radio Globo to talk about why he was detained. He said he went to the Embassy on Sunday, October 9 for questioning by 3 DEA agents. At that time they asked him about his knowledge of a plot to kill the US Ambassador by bombing his house, and if he could tie President Hernandez's brother, Tony Hernandez to that plot. Rodriguez Orellana told the Honduran press that he told the DEA he knew nothing about a plot against Ambassador Nealon, nor could he tie Tony Hernandez to such a plot. He did allow that while he was part of the Honduran Army's security force engaged in drug interdiction in 2014 they confiscated a helicopter in Brus Laguna that tested positive for having transported cocaine, and that an informant told him the helicopter belonged to Defense Minister Samuel Reyes and Tony Hernandez. That helicopter bore a valid Guatemalan registration with a fake US registration number decal covering it.
This is not the first time that the Honduran President's brother, Tony Hernandez, has been linked to narco-trafficking. We covered such a link in April this year.
Jenifer Lizeth Bonilla, the wife of Captain Rodriguez Orellana, told Criterio, a Honduran weekly publication, that the DEA asked her husband to connect Tony Hernandez to a helicopter captured in August, 2014 by the Honduran military. It tested positive for drugs. She said her husband knows nothing about it and has asked the Honduran Ombudsperson for protection. She said:
"These problems for Captain Rodriguez Orellano come from the time he captured the helicopter, that according to sources, this helicopter was that of Samuel Reyes and Tony Hernandez"Defense Minister Samuel Reyes challenged her to present her proof to Honduran authorities. Bonilla showed a Whatsapp conversation Rodriguez Orellana had with DEA agent Matthews in which Rodriguez Orellana said that the helicopter was one used by both Samuel Reyes and Tony Hernandez. Rodriguez Orellana phoned in to Radio Globo and said that the day after they captured the helicopter, someone broke into his house and ransacked it.
Captain Santos Rodriguez Orellana returned to duty today after the military found it had no reason to keep him confined to quarters. There were no formal charges brought against him.