Thursday, October 3, 2019

Trial of Tony Hernandez, Day 1

The trial of Juan Antonio Hernandez Alvarado, aka "Tony" Hernandez, former Honduran Congress person and brother of the sitting President, Juan Orlando Hernandez Alvarado began today in a Federal Courthouse in New York City.  Tony Hernandez is charged with two counts of murder of rival drug traffickers, one in 2011 and one in 2013.  He is also charged with importing large quantities of cocaine into the United States. The Jury was seated, and the Prosecutor, Jason Richman, gave his opening statement, which is causing quite a stir.

In his opening statement, Richman said that El Chapo Guzman gave $1 million to Tony Hernandez to give to his brother, Juan Orlando Hernandez.  Richman said:

The defendant was protected by and had access to his brother, the current sitting president of Honduras, a man who himself has received millions of dollars in drug money bribes -- bribes he received from some of the largest cocaine traffickers in the world, -- bribes he received from men like El Chapo and the Sinaloa cartel who personally delivered $1 million to the defendant for his brother."
Richman also said of Juan Orlando Hernandez that he took some $1.5 million in drug money to win his first presidential campaign in 2013 in exchange for protection for the drug traffickers.   He accepted a further $40,000 from traffickers for his 2017 re-election campaign, Richman alleged.

Prosecutors accused Juan Orlando Hernandez of working with his brother Tony and former president Porfirio Lobo Sosa to take advantage of the drug trafficking to consolidate power and control in Honduras.

Former President Porfirio  (Pepe) Lobo Sosa was also accused, but not charged, in the opening statement by Jason Richman.  Pepe Lobo is alleged to have accepted $2 million in drug money for his 2009 campaign

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