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Press Release

Honduran Drug Kingpin Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida

The eleventh Honduran citizen extradited under the treaty between the United States and Honduras, and the first to proceed to trial in the United States, was sentenced today to 30 years in prison for his involvement in a large-scale narcotics transportation organization.


Benjamin G. Greenberg, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Adolphus P. Wright, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, made the announcement.


A Miami jury had found Juan Carlos Arvizu Hernandez guilty on July 14, 2017, of conspiring to distribute over five kilograms of cocaine with the knowledge that the cocaine would be unlawfully imported into the United States. The evidence at trial, which included the testimony of multiple co-conspirators and a video recording of the defendant, showed that the defendant operated in Honduras as the leader of a large-scale narcotics transportation organization that was part of a distribution chain spanning from Colombia to Mexico and the United States.  In that role, the defendant and his workers were responsible for secretly receiving multi-hundred kilogram quantities of cocaine being shipped from Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil, temporarily storing the narcotics in Honduras, and then transporting the narcotics to their next point, which was typically a location in Honduras close to the Guatemalan border, Belize or even further north to Mexico.  The evidence at trial showed that as part of this conspiracy the defendant was responsible for trafficking over 5,000 kilograms of cocaine. In addition to the proceedings at trial, at a hearing in June 2017 and again at the sentencing hearing today, the government presented evidence of video recordings involving Arvizu Hernandez, including a still photograph showing the defendant handling a brick of cocaine. 


Acting U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg stated, “The arrest and extradition of Juan Carlos Arvizu Hernandez is the result of extraordinary international cooperation. It also reflects the hard work, commitment, and perseverance of our Honduran and U.S. law enforcement partners to stem the flow of cocaine into the United States. Arvizu Hernandez was extradited from Honduras to the United States for his involvement in the distribution of thousands of kilograms of cocaine knowing that the cocaine would be imported into the United States. Arvizu Hernandez was tried by a jury and convicted. Now that he was sentenced, justice has been served.”


DEA Special Agent in Charge Adolphus P. Wright stated, “Hernandez’ drug trafficking organization has been dismantled and will no longer be able to import large amounts of cocaine into the Unites States.  The total disregard Hernandez displayed in his efforts to destroy countless communities in the United States has been addressed with this sentence.”  He added, “The DEA will continue to work diligently with all our law enforcement partners, both domestically and internationally, to combat these drug organizations and arrest the leaders and others responsible for the trafficking of drugs.”


The prosecution was part of Operation Hollow Point, which is a result of the ongoing efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.  The OCDETF mission is to identify, investigate, and prosecute high level members of drug trafficking enterprises, bringing together the combined expertise and unique abilities of federal, state and local law enforcement.


Mr. Greenberg would like to thank the following groups for their assistance in obtaining the conviction against Arvizu Hernandez: the governments of Honduras and Colombia, the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Middle District of Florida and the Southern District of New York, the Office of International Affairs of the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation as part of the Panama Express North Strike Force, and DEA Division Offices in Honduras, Colombia, and Houston, Texas, as well as the DEA Bilateral Investigation Unit at the Special Operations Division.  This case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Walter Norkin.


Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or on

Updated September 29, 2017

Drug Trafficking