Juan Orlando Hernandez was extradited last month on charges that he received millions of dollars from 2004 to 2022 to support a drug trade that delivered hundreds of thousands of kilograms of drugs to the U.S.
The attorney for former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez said he wants to call notorious drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to the stand as one defense witness in his high profile drug trafficking case in New York federal court.
“We’re going to subpoena El Chapo,” said defense attorney Raymond Colon. “If the judge orders it, the government will have to produce him. We’ll hear what he has to say.”
El Chapo is currently serving a life sentence in a U.S prison for a massive conspiracy that utilized killings and corruption to support drug trafficking for over two decades.
Colon said Hernandez denied taking millions in payoffs from El Chapo and other murderous drug kingpins in exchange for helping them transport large amounts of drugs through Honduras to the U.S. He said he expected El Chapo would verify that claim, if he were able to get him to testify.
Hernandez pleaded not guilty in federal court in Manhattan. Wearing a blue jailhouse uniform, Hernandez said in Spanish, ”Not guilty your honor” during Tuesday’s hearing before Judge P. Kevin Castel.
Hernandez was extradited to New York on April 21 on the drug trafficking-related charges. Drug Enforcement Administration agents said while publicly promising to help the U.S. fight drug trafficking, privately he was working closely with the cartels.
After Tuesday’s hearing, defense attorney Colon said he would try to subpoena other long-shot witnesses – like former Presidents Trump and Obama as well as former top U.S. security officials like John Kelly and Mike Pompeo.
Born in 1990, Ovidio Guzmán López was 18 when he joined his father’s Sinaloa Cartel. Now, he helps produce and traffic thousands of pounds of narcotics every year.
Since the late 1980s, the Sinaloa Cartel has been laundering money and trafficking drugs into the United States and bribing, torturing, or murdering anyone who crosses it. While its leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán was captured in 2016, his son, Ovidio Guzmán López, remains at large — but not for lack of trying.
It doesn’t seem like U.S. prison officials are too worried that El Chapo’s wife will follow in his footsteps… right out of custody. Emma Coronel Aispuro has been transferred to a minimum-security lockup in Texas to serve out the remainder of her three-year sentence for taking part in her husband’s drug trafficking operation. FMC Carswell is described by the Bureau of Prisons as a “federal administrative security medical center with an adjacent minimum security satellite camp.” El Chapo infamously escaped two high-security Mexican prisons before being captured and extradited to the U.S., where he was convicted and sentenced to life. Authorities are taking no chances with him; he’s at the Supermax prison in Colorado.
The armed group, which numbered 150 men from the Sinaloa Cartel, was reportedly able to take over the town of Caborca, in the northern state of Sonora, on Tuesday (15 February).
According to Spanish newspaper El Pais, the group killed two people and kidnapped five more, having passed right in front of a National Guard detachment and another group of soldiers without being stopped.
An unnamed local told the publication: “There was not a single member of the authorities who came out to confront them, all the soldiers hid. They left us all alone, they abandoned us.”
The town is still reeling from the invasion, with mayor Abraham David Mier Nogales urging businesses to observe an unofficial 10pm curfew.
It is currently unclear if any of El Chapo’s sons participated in the invasion of the town, or if they simply ordered it.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, the wife of Mexico’s most notorious drug kingpin, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán,pleaded guiltyThursday to helping him run the powerful Sinaloa cartel.
Coronel was captured and arrested by U.S. officials as she arrived at Dulles International Airport in Virginia in February.
The former beauty queen appeared before a federal judge in Washington, D.C., on Thursday morning and pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana for importation into the U.S., according to the Justice Department.
She also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to launder narcotics profits and another count of engaging in illegal financial dealings related to her husband’s property.