Sunday, March 12, 2017

Devis Rivera Maradiaga Testimony part 3

We are reading and summarizing the high points from the nearly 3 hours of testimony that Devis Leonel Rivera Maradiaga gave in the sentencing hearing of Fabio Lobo in Federal Court in New York.  Our source is the trial transcript published by El Heraldo.  This is part 3.

After lunch, Devis Rivera Maradiaga resumed his testimony. talking about how Fabio Lobo had asked him to introduce him to other drug traffickers that he might help out the same way he'd helped los Cachiros.  Devis Rivera introduced him to Carlos Lobo, at Carlos Lobo's house in San Pedro Sula.  Rivera dropped Fabio Lobo off at the meeting, and afterwards heard from Carlos Lobo that he was employing Fabio to help get back some properties of his that had been confiscated, and that Fabio was going to introduce him to Oscar Alvarez's secretary, a lawyer. For these services Carlos Lobo paid Fabio Lobo $100,000.

  1. Q. Now, I would like to direct your attention to the fall of
  2. 2013. Did the defendant help with a cocaine load that arrived
  3. in the Colon Department around that time?
  4. A. Yes, sir.
In the fall of 2013 Devis Rivera called Fabio Lobo for help with a drug plane carrying 1050 kilograms of cocaine.  When asked why, Devis told the court:

  1. A. Because it was a larger shipment. Because I needed his
  2. protection. I knew that having him with me, everything would
  3. go well and I felt better supported if I was with the
  4. president's son.
They met in Tocoa, Colon.  Fabio and his security detail arrived in 3 blue Toyota SUVs.  All the SUVs had sirens.  The drug plane landed in Farallones, near Ironia on the land of Ton Montes on a private landing strip owned by Miguel Facussé.  The landing became compromised because the police raided the hacienda where the cocaine was to be stored. A military police officer named Fortin alerted los Cachiros to the police raid and the fact that the plane had left its GPS pinger on and it showed up on radar. A truck with all the cocaine arrived in Tocoa and Devis Rivera went to get Fabio Lobo.  Fabio was being driven by armed military police officers in all three SUVs and they used their sirens to get past a police checkpoint between La Ceiba and San Pedro Sula.

Devis Rivera got money from Digna Valle to pay Fabio Lobo $50,000.  However, Fabio asked for more because General Pacheco needed a cut.  However, Fabio Lobo didn't get any more money.  Devis Rivera testified that he notified Fabio Lobo about 5-8 other drug shipments just in case he needed help with any of them.
  1. Q. Did OFAC sanction you and the Cachiros at some point?
  2. 24  A. Yes, sir.
Devis Rivera went to Fabio Lobo with concerns in 2013 about Honduras's plans to enforce the OFAC sanctions.  He met with Fabio Lobo and Oscar Najera in the Hotel Plaza San Martin in Tegucigalpa.  Oscar Najera agreed to talk to Pepe Lobo about the sanctions.  Fabio Lobo agreed to talk with his cousin Palacio Moya who was head of the government department that would confiscate los Cachiros property.  Fabio left for two hours and came back with a list of properties and bank accounts that the Honduran government was going to confiscate.  Devis Rivera paid Fabio Loco between $50,000 and $70,000 for the list, with an understanding that the money would be split between Fabio, Oscar Najera, and Palacio Moya.  Fabio Lobo recommended they destroy all the paperwork they had on the companies that were about to be confiscated, and said that if Devis Rivera wanted to visit the zoo animals while the zoo was being confiscated, that someone named Cesar who worked in the San Pedro Sula office of the OABI would be happy to take him there and get him in.

The Rivera Maradiaga family, with advanced warning, cleared out the computers and paperwork from the assets going to be seized, emptied the bank accounts, and moved vehicles.  After the companies were confiscated, Devis Rivera began to fear for his life, and fear extradition.  In December 2013 he began to record his meetings with Fabio Lobo and became an informant for the DEA.

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