Honduran Congressman Charged With Conspiring To Import Cocaine Into The United States And Related Firearms Offenses
Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Raymond Donovan, the Special Agent in Charge of the Special Operations Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), announced that Honduran congressman Fredy Renan Najera Montoya (“NAJERA”) was charged yesterday in Manhattan federal court with conspiring to import cocaine into the United States and related weapons offenses involving the use and possession of machineguns and destructive devices.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “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. Along with the DEA, we are committed to attacking the drug trade at every level, regardless of a defendant’s status. We look forward to trying Najera on U.S. soil.”
Special Agent in Charge Raymond Donovan said: “As alleged, Fredy Renan Najera Montoya 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. DEA will continue to go after these dangerous criminal individuals and their violent networks with our counterparts across the world utilizing every law enforcement tool at our disposal.”
As alleged in the Superseding Indictment unsealed in federal court:
From 2009 up to 2014, multiple drug trafficking organizations in Honduras and elsewhere worked together, and with support from NAJERA and others, to receive multi-hundred-kilogram loads of cocaine sent to Honduras from, among other places, Colombia via air and maritime routes, and to transport the drugs westward in Honduras toward the border with Guatemala and eventually to the United States. For protection from official interference, and in order to facilitate the safe passage through Honduras of multi-hundred-kilogram loads of cocaine, drug traffickers paid bribes to public officials, including certain members of the National Congress of Honduras.
NAJERA is a member of the National Congress of Honduras who participated in and supported the drug trafficking activities of large-scale drug traffickers in Honduras and high-ranking members of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel. For example, NAJERA facilitated the receipt of cocaine-laden aircraft at clandestine landing strips in Honduras that were protected by heavily armed security personnel so that the cocaine could be transported through Honduras, sold to the Sinaloa Cartel, and imported into the United States. NAJERA also participated in a maritime cocaine trafficking venture that involved a $50,000 bribe paid to Fabio Porfirio Lobo, whose father was the President of Honduras at the time of the payment. On September 5, 2017, in United States v. Lobo, No. 15 Cr. 174 (LGS), U.S. District Judge Lorna G. Schofield sentenced Lobo principally to 24 years in prison based on his conviction for participating in a conspiracy to import cocaine into the United States.
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The Superseding Indictment charges NAJERA, 41, with three counts: (1) conspiring to import cocaine into the United States, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum term of life imprisonment; (2) using and carrying machine guns and destructive devices during, and possessing machine guns and destructive devices in furtherance of, the cocaine-importation conspiracy, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years in prison and a maximum term of life imprisonment; and (3) conspiring to use and carry machine guns and destructive devices during, and to possess machine guns and destructive devices in furtherance of, the cocaine-importation conspiracy, which carries a maximum term of life imprisonment.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding efforts of the DEA’s Special Operations Division Bilateral Investigations Unit, New York Strike Force, and Tegucigalpa Country Office, as well as the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emil J. Bove III and Mathew J. Laroche are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Superseding Indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The potential mandatory minimum and maximum sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
 As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Superseding Indictment and the description of the Superseding Indictment set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.