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Honduras Ex-Prez JOH Now Listed in MDC In Brooklyn Next Is May 10 Arraignment

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book
BBC-Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN NY Mag

SDNY COURTHOUSE, April 25 –  After the president of Honduras' brother Tony Hernandez was convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to life plus thirty years, on April 21 the ex-president himself, Juan Orlando Hernandez, was extradited to the United States.

  Inner City Press which covered the trials of Tony Hernandez and Giovanny Fuentes Ramirez immediatley published the unsealed JOH indictment, which was returned on January 27, 2022 but left under seal. 

  The indictment is under the same docket number of Tony Hernandez, 15-cr-379, before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge P. Kevin Castel. 

On April 25, despite a mis-report by Radio HRN that Juan Orlando Hernandez is in the MCC jail (it is closed, after Jeffrey Epstein), JOH appeared in the US Bureau of Prisons database as placed in the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, where accused CIA leaker Joshua Schulte and Ghislaine Maxwell, pending her sentencing this summer, are detained. Photo here. Watch this site.

Back on April 21, a lawyer filed a notice of appearance to represent JOH: Raymond L. Colon of 131 Pugsley Avenue in The Bronx, with 30 other cases over the years in SDNY.

On April 22 by video Colon represented JOH at his presentment. Inner City Press live tweeted here:

OK - now the presentment of former Honduras president Juan Orlando Hernandez. He is visible on screen with a phone in his ear, in the same jacket he was extradited from Tegucigalpa in.

 Now JOH, maskless, is talking into telephone handset. His volume is down; his lawyer Raymond Colon is on another line, says, "I am back if anyone is looking for me." JOH will be using an interpreter.

 For the government: AUSA Elinor Tarlow. JOH, with a white wall behind him, is looking wistfully out a window to his right. And here's Magistrate Judge Aaron, apparently from his chambers

Raymond Colon is not visible by video. Just Judge Aaron, AUSA Tarlow and, on the big screen, JOH. Judge Aaron: Mr. Orlando Hernandez, are you able to understand me? JOH: Yes, through the interpreter.

AUSA Tarlow is the only one using the blurring function on her video camera. Colon: I have discussed this with my client. He agrees to proceed virtually. Judge Aaron: Mr. Orlando Hernandez, you agree? JOH: Es correcto.

 Judge Aaron: Mr. Orlando Hernandez, you are charged with certain crimes... You have the right to remain silent.  We have have to notify your country that you have been arrested. [No irony there.]

Judge Aaron: A grand jury returned an indictment against you for cocaine importation, possession of machine guns, conspiracy. Since 2004 to 2022 you allegedly participated in a drug trafficking organization and received millions to support DTOs in Honduras, Mexico

AUSA Tarlow: The Government is seeking detention.

Colon: We consent but may file a request for release on bail later, once we get the sureties in place. Judge Aaron: I'm aware there was an extradition here. AUSA Tarlow: He arrived here at 12:50 am.

 AUSA Tarlow: There is an arraignment on May 10 at 11 am before Judge Castel. We move to exclude Speedy Trial Act time. Colon: No objection.  Judge Aaron (after 5f notice, through which JOH nods and stares out the window) We are adjourned.

 Post script: After the proceeding, word is that Juan Orlando Hernandez is in the custody of the Drug Enforcement Agency, DEA - hence the better than normal conditions he Zoomed in from.

 Previously, Inner City Press asked UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres why he supported already-disgraced JOH in helping to steal his second election, by sending a four person panel with no read-out.

There has still been no answer from UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric - but Guterres' head of media access Melissa Fleming has banned Inner City Press, ongoing. 

On April 21 Inner City Press posted vlogs in English and Spanish, and streamed the DEA press statement from DC, here. We will cover JOH's presentment, arraignment and trial. 

The case is US v. Juan Orlando Hernandez, 15-cr-379 (Castel). 


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