NEW YORK (HPD) — A federal judge in New York sentenced a former Honduran congressman Thursday to 30 years in prison for his role in a large-scale drug trafficking operation that prosecutors say imported more than 30 tons of cocaine to the United States.
Fredy Renán Nájera Montoya had pleaded guilty to criminal association to import cocaine and a weapons crime. In addition to the sentence handed down by US District Judge Paul Gardephe, the 46-year-old former lawmaker was ordered to hand over $39 million and pay a $10 million fine.
An email was sent Thursday to an attorney representing him.
According to the federal prosecutor’s office in Manhattan, Nájera helped distribute more than 30 tons of cocaine from the region of Honduras that he represented in government between 2008 and 2015. That included the construction of clandestine airstrips in the Central American country that receiving shipments of cocaine from Venezuela and facilitating the movement of the drug to western Honduras for transportation to the United States, according to prosecutors.
Security forces protecting the drug ring used military-grade weapons, including rocket-propelled grenade launchers, and Nájera cultivated relationships with members of the Honduran National Police and armed forces to help drug traffickers avoid arrest, according to prosecutors. .
They noted that he also allegedly introduced members of the powerful Sinaloa Cartel to Honduran officials to provide the Mexican cartel with access to the shipping center in Puerto Cortes, Honduras.