U.S. prosecutors charged a Honduran Congressman with using his position to help large-scale drug traffickers move cocaine from Columbia to Honduras and then into the United States.
The U.S. Department of Justice charged Honduran Congressman Fredy Renan Najera Montoya in Manhattan, New York, with conspiring to import cocaine into the United States, according to information obtained from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) by Breitbart Texas. He was also charged with using and possessing machine guns and destructive devices.
According to DEA officials, Najera “participated in and supported the drug-trafficking activities of large-scale drug traffickers in Honduras and high-ranking members of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel.”
Montoya stands accused of helping multiple drug-trafficking criminal organizations in Honduras receive massive amounts of cocaine from Columbia via both air and sea routes.
The criminal conspiracy included smuggling drugs from Honduras to Guatemala and then into the U.S.
The federal government says Najera helped smugglers in planes carrying cocaine get to “clandestine landing strips in Honduras that were protected by heavily armed security personnel.” Smugglers sold the drugs to the Sinaloa Cartel which then imported the drugs into the U.S.
The drug smugglers paid-off public officials with bribes to accomplish their criminal scheme, including members of the National Congress of Honduras.
Officials said one of the bribes included a $50,000 payment to Fabio Porfirio Lobo, the son of the president of Honduras at the time. A court later sentenced Lobo to 24 years in prison for his part in conspiring to import cocaine into the U.S.
“As alleged, Fredy Renan Najera Montoya used his power and influence as a Honduran congressman to help facilitate the transport of huge quantities of cocaine from Colombia through Honduras, and ultimately to the streets of the United States,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a written statement.
The 41-year-old Honduran congressman has been charged with three counts: conspiring to import cocaine into the U.S.; using and carrying machine guns and destructive devices during, and possessing machine guns and destructive devices in furtherance of the cocaine import enterprise; and conspiring to use and carry machine guns and destructive devices during, and to possess machine guns and destructive devices in furtherance of, the cocaine import criminal business.
“Najera used his position in the Honduran Congress to facilitate huge amounts of drug trafficking and corruption while using security teams possessing dangerous and deadly weapons that threaten the rule of law and innocent lives,” Raymond Donovan, DEA Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Special Operations Division, said in a written statement. His division coordinates multi-agency, multi-national drug trafficking, and narco-terror operations worldwide.
The United States is working to have Montoya extradited to the U.S. If convicted, he faces a sentence of life in federal prison. The mandatory minimum sentence is ten years for the conspiracy to import cocaine charge, and a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 and 20 years respectively on the related weapons charges.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with additional information.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX, Gab, and Facebook.