Former director of the Honduran National Police Juan Carlos Bonilla was extradited Tuesday to New York by DEA agents, where he will stand trial on charges of participating in a conspiracy to import cocaine into the United States.
Bonilla, who was being held in a military unit on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa, he was taken to the Hernán Acosta Mejía Air Base, in the extreme south of the Honduran capital, under a rigorous security device by land and air.
The plane, a white twin-engine propeller with registration N366FM, of the US justice system in which it was Bonilla, handcuffed, took off around 09:30 local time (15:30 GMT).
Bonilla is also accused by the United States of use and carry machine guns and destructive devices in connection with the conspiracy to import drugs, and use and carry firearms in furtherance of the conspiracy to import cocaine.
The former police chief, who was Captured on March 9 at a toll station in the Zambrano sector, some 30 kilometers north of Tegucigalpa, he was being held in a cell of the First Infantry Battalion.located in the surroundings of the Honduran capital.
The extradition of Juan Carlos Bonilla, who was charged in April 2020 and requested by the US in May 2021, was approved by a judge from Tegucigalpa on April 8.
In April 2020, the Manhattan District Attorney Geoffrey Berman said Bonilla played a “key role in an international drug trafficking conspiracy.”
He further said that Bonilla committed crimes on behalf of former deputy Juan Antonio “Tony” Hernández -who in March 2021 was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years in prison- “and his brother the president”, in reference to the now former ruler Juan Orlando Hernández, among them “the murder of a rival trafficker”.
The former police director of the Central American country, also known as the “Tigre” Bonilla, served as director of the National Police between 2012 and 2013, during the government presided over by Porfirio Lobo (2010-2014).
Last week, in a letter handwritten by Bonilla, he said: “Now that I am facing criminal proceedings in the Southern District Court of New York, I have been unfairly mentioned by unknown people who have acted outside the law, to discredit my honor, family and arduous police career, I only ask God to bless you forever.
“I cannot promise my sons and daughters that I will be present on the path of their lives, but yes i will love them for the rest of my life; To my grandchildren and great-grandchildren, may God enlighten your paths to be good and altruistic people”, Bonilla pointed out in his letter.
His extradition to the United States coincides with the Appearance of former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández (2014-2022) before Judge Kevin Castel, of the Court of the Southern District of New York, where he will hear about the three charges of drug trafficking and use of weapons.
Hernández, who was captured on February 15 at his residence in Tegucigalpa, was extradited to the United States on April 21 and is the first former Honduran ruler to be required by that country. for drug trafficking.
The former president concluded his second term on January 27when the new president of Honduras, Xiomara Castro, took office.
With Bonilla there are at least 31 Hondurans who have been extradited to the United States for drug trafficking, since 2014.
(With information from EFE and Reuters)
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