The Honduran accomplices of El Chapo

Six Honduran National Police officers were charged Wednesday with conspiring with Fabio Lobo, son of former Honduran president Porfirio Lobo, to import drugs into the United States.

Fabio Lobo faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life. He is scheduled to be sentenced in September. (Photo: Special)
English 03/07/2016 11:32 AP Actualizada 11:32

The list of accomplices of the Sinaloa Cartel under the leadership of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán includes the son of a former president of Honduras.

Six Honduran National Police officers were charged Wednesday with conspiring with Fabio Lobo, son of former Honduran president Porfirio Lobo, to import drugs into the United States: Ludwig Criss Zelaya Romero, Mario Guillermo Mejía Vargas, Juan Manuel Ávila Meza, Carlos José Zavala Velásquez, Víctor Oswaldo López Flores and Jorge Alfredo Cruz Chávez.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan announced the charges, saying the officers were accused of participating "in a massive drug trafficking conspiracy" that flooded U.S. cities with cocaine. None of the officers are in custody.

Bharara said the officers agreed from 2004 to 2014 to ensure the safe passage of tons of cocaine through the jungles of Honduras to the U. S. by capitalizing on bribes to public officials along with leaked information about investigations and law enforcement checkpoints.

Prosecutors said the defendants were members of the Policía Nacional de Honduras when they supported Lobo's drug activities. They said Lobo in June 2014 introduced two individuals he understood to be Mexican drug traffickers to the six defendants as he tried to provide security and logistical support for a purported multi-ton shipment of cocaine that he thought would bring him over US$1 million in profits.

Prosecutors said the officers displayed a map of Honduras at the meeting and pointed out law enforcement checkpoints and the route the cocaine should take. They said each of the officers agreed to accept a US$100,000 bribe and to pay their subordinates US$200,000 in additional bribes to provide armed security for the cocaine as it made its way to the U.S.

In May, Fabio Lobo pleaded guilty to conspiring to import cocaine into the U.S. He was arrested in Haiti in May 2015 and was brought to the U.S.

He faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life. He is scheduled to be sentenced in September. His attorney has said his client accepts responsibility for his "grave misstep."

 

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