Today, an HSN representative attended the trial in New York. Watch the live Facebook reporting by Pro-Honduras Network in the video below.
What Happened Today:
** Briefly finished testimony of collaborating witness, police officer Geovani Rodriguez, and then collaborating witness and drug trafficker, Devis Leonel Maradiaga Rivera (from “Los Cachiros”) testified.
Key Details that Surfaced:
** Devis Maradiaga Rivera met Tony Hernandez in January/February 2014 in a Denny’s restaurant in Tegucigalpa. Devis was collaborating with the DEA at the time and filmed the meeting with a watch with capacity to record video. He discussed fixing his front company created to launder drug money, INRIMAR with Tony Hernandez who accepted a bribe of $50,000 (SEE VIDEO BELOW)
** Had “business” relationships with Congressman Oscar Najera, ex-President Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo, Fabio Lobo, Congressman Reynaldo Geovanny Ekonomo Funes, ex-police officer Juan Manuel Avila Meza, and former Congressman Fredy Nájera who gave him information about government investigations, move military check points when he transported drugs & weapons, money laundered, got government contracts to launder money, etc.
** Los Cachiros supported Juan Orlando Hernandez’s (JOH)’s Presidential campaign by giving drug money to Congressman Milton Puerto, Arnaldo Urbina [in jail in Honduras and facing extradition], to Congressman Ekonomo; Carmen Rivera Muñoz (Honduran politician) and to Congressman Oscar Nájera in the departments of Yoro, Cortes, Atlantida, and Colon.
** Beside the above, Devis said he bribed Tony Hernandez, JOH, Minister of Security Julian Pacheco, prosecutors, judges, and many members of the military and police.
** By bribing Congressman Ekonomo Funes, Devis Maradiaga communicated on the phone with JOH to inform him that Los Cachiros were not planning on assassinating him (like JOH was led to believe).
What Will Happen Tomorrow:
** Monday is a holiday. Trial will continue on Tuesday. The US government will present 3 more witnesses: A collaborating witness, a DEA agent, and an expert in weapons. This is expected to take all day on Tuesday.
Humor of the Day:
At times, Devis Maradiaga Rivera’s testimony was quite humorous and sarcastic. He said several things that made the audience laugh .. especially the Hondurans in the court. Some of the statements were live tweeted by journalists inside the court.
Judge Tells Tony Hernandez He Has The Right To Testify:
** Tony Hernandez has the right to testify if he wants. The judge spoke to him today about it and made it clear thats its entirely Tony’s decision.
** If he decides not to, the judge said no assumptions should be made as to why.
** Its unclear if Tony will testify or not. We won’t know until the Prosecutor finishes presenting their witnesses and the defense can mount their case.
Testimony of Collaborating witness, Devis Leonel Maradiaga Rivera, “Los Cachiros” Cartel:
Divided into subsections for clarity
DRUG TRAFFICKING CHARGES & HANDING HIMSELF OVER
** Turned himself over to the DEA in January 2015 and began working as a DEA informant in November 2013
·** When he turned himself into the DEA (he was not extradited), he was charged with conspiracy to traffic more than 5 kilograms of drugs but now is charged with 4 crimes: homicide, money laundering, possession of weapons of war, and conspiracy to traffic over 5 kilograms or more.
** Minimum sentence is life in prison plus 30 years. With his plea agreement, the judge can eliminate the minimum sentence and decide sentencing based on his cooperation.
** Killed 78 people and injured 15 people
** Devis’s brother, Javier Maradiaga Rivera, is also in prison in the US. Together, they formed “Los Cachiros” cartel.
** Got involved in drug trafficking in 2002. He received drug shipments from airplanes and boats, gave the shipments security as they were transported from the coast of Honduras to El Espiritu, Copan and then sold to other drug traffickers.
** Distributed approximately 130 tons of cocaine.
** Still has money he made from drug trafficking. Its somewhere hidden in Honduras. He also bought $1 million of pure gold with the drug money but said that it got stolen last year.
** In approximately 2013, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in the US Treasury sanctioned Los Cachiros and its front companies Ganaderos Agricultores; Minera Mi Esperanza; Joya Grande; and INRIMAR. The Honduran government institution, Seized Property Administrative Office (OABI) seized these companies.
RELATIONSHIP WITH JUAN MANUEL AVILA MEZA, EX-POLICE OFFICIAL WHO HAS BEEN SENTENCED IN THE US & LAWYER OSCAR RAMIREZ
** Tony Hernandez contacted Devis through Avila Meza.
** Devis met Avila Meza in 2004 and at the time, worked in the Honduran national police
·** Asked Avila Meza for favors like locating man named “Coqui” Ramos in another country through a contact with INTERPOL to have him extradited to Honduras and later, killed. Devis wanted “Coqui” killed because he had killed Devis’ brother and injured another brother.
** In December 2013, Avila Meza contacted Devis to tell him that he met with Tony Hernandez and his lawyer and that Tony Hernandez sent him to tell Devis that he wanted to work in drug trafficking and he would help Devis resolved the issue with his front company INRIMAR.
o They met in San Pedro Sula and Avila Meza told Denis that Tony wanted a bribe for $100,000 and a house in Tegucigalpa to use as an office.
** Devis didn’t see him again until January/February 2014 when he met with Avila Meza and lawyer Oscar Ramirez in the lobby of the Hotel Clarion in Tegucigalpa before going the same day, to a Denny’s restaurant in Tegucigalpa to meet with Tony Hernandez.
** Devis met Oscar Ramirez in 2012 through Avila Meza. Devis rented him an alternative landing strip for drug planes in Olanchito, Yoro. Devis paid him $50,000.
** Ramirez was Tony Hernandez’s lawyer.
RELATIONSHIP WITH TONY HERNANDEZ, THE VALLE VALLES & OTHER TRAFFICKERS
·** Was asked to stand up in the court room and identify Tony Hernandez in the court
** Met Tony Hernandez in January/February 2014
** Met him to ask for help with a contract for Los Cachiros infrastructure/highway company named INRIMAR in exchange for a bribe.
** Worked with the Valle Valles from approximately 2004 to 2013. He received shipments of drugs to Francia, Limon and transported them to El Espiritu, Copan.
** When the Office for Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanction Los Cachiros and its companies including INRIMAR in approximately 2013, Devis spoke to Tony Hernandez about the debt that the Honduran government owed his company still.
** Devis worked with Juan Ramon Matta (Moncho) beginning about 2006 until 2012/2013.
** He also knew Wilter Blanco. He spoke to Wilter Blanco about “El Chino” (a trafficker giving other cartels some problems). Wilter Blanco told Devis that El Chino was sent to receive a drug shipment in a boat in open sea and when he arrived to the boat, he was arrested and jailed.
o Wilter Blanco asked Devis if he had a contact to kill Chino in prison. Devis went through drug trafficker Adan Funes Bobadilla to kill “Chino” where he was jailed in the Tamara prison close to Tegucigalpa.
RELATIONSHIP WITH CONGRESSMAN MIDENCE MARTINEZ TURCIOS
·** Midence helped Los Cachiros move cocaine since 2004.
** Turcios would provide military training to people that receive the drug shipments and provide security for the shipments
·** Los Cachiros bribed him with drug money.
** Martinez Turcios would receive drug planes with cocaine on his landing strips in San Esteben, Olancho.
THE DENNY’S RESTAURANT MEETING WITH TONY HERNANDEZ
** In February 2014, Devis arranged a meeting with Tony Hernandez through ex-police officer Avila Meza and lawyer Oscar Ramirez. Devis met Avila Meza and Oscar Ramirez in the lobby of the Hotel Clarion before going to Denny’s to meet with TH.
** Arriving to the Denny’s, there were 3 Prados parked outside and body guards and 7 military guards that were heavily armed.
** Devis’ lawyer Edgardo Perez and his cousin, Nate Turcios attended the meeting.
** By that time, Devis had become an informant with the DEA. He purchased a watch camera and recorded the meeting with Tony Hernandez. Tony told Devis in the meeting that Devis should transfer INRIMAR to a company owned by Edgardo Perez because INRIMAR had been burnt by the OFAC sanctions.
** In the meeting, Tony Hernandez made reference to Roberto Ordoñez (Campaign coordinator for National Party and former Ministers)
** Devis brought $50,000 in bribe money for Tony to the meeting (instead of the $100,000) and gave it to Oscar Ramirez. Oscar and Tony left the meeting together.
** Devis never heard from Tony Hernandez again.
** Devis handed over the video from his watch filming device to the DEA.
DEVIS MARADIAGA’S MISTAKE OR LIE ABOUT THE DENNY’S VIDEO
** During the cross-examination, Devis Maradiaga insisted that he handed the DEA the memory chip inside the watch filming device immediately after the meeting in Denny’s. The memory chip contained the video that was shown in court.
** The defense questioned Devis in detail about how the events occurred around the time he left the meeting in Denny’s with TH and delivered the video to the DEA.
** Devis originally said he left the meeting and went right to deliver the video to the DEA but it was clarified later by the prosecutor’s that what he testified was not true.
o Devis retracted what he said and said he got confused when he was asked. After prompted by the prosecutor, Devis agreed that he didn’t give the video to the DEA and instead to his lawyer, who then gave it to the DEA almost a month later.
PLAN TO KILL JUAN ORLANDO HERNANDEZ (JOH) & RELATIONSHIP WITH CONGRESSMAN REYNALDO GEOVANNY EKONOMO FUNES
** In approximately 2014, Devis heard through the Valle brothers in a meeting in El Espiritu, Copan that they wanted to kill JOH.
** The Valles said they wanted to kill him because once he became President, he no longer answered his phone and they had helped fund his Presidential campaign.
** Through Congressman Reynaldo Ekonomo Funes, Devis found out that JOH thought that Los Cachiros wanted to kill him. Ekonomo offered to clarify the situation with JOH. After meeting with Ekonomo in San Pedro Sula, Ekonomo went to talk to JOH and connected Devis and JOH over the phone.
o Ekonomo held his phone so that JOH could hear Devis tell JOH that Los Cachiros did not have any plans to kill him and that instead, he had supported his Presidential campaign directly and also in Olanchito through Milton Puerto [current Congress man in Yoro], in Yoro through Arnaldo Urbina [in jail in Honduras and facing extradition], in Cortes through Ekonomo, and in Atlantida through Carmen Rivera Muñoz (Honduran politician), and in Colon through Oscar Nájera.
o Devis had to pay Ekonomo $20,000 and give him a white Tahoe SUV as a bribe to speak with JOH.
RELATIONSHIP WITH CONGRESS REP, OSCAR NAJERA
** Prosecutors put up a PICTURE of Tony Hernandez, Oscar Najera, another man, and four women in a hot tub. (This showed the jury that Tony Hernandez knew Oscar Nájera).
** Devis said he had known Oscar Najera since he was very young.
** Oscar Najera gave Los Cachiros protection so he wouldn’t get arrested in Colon and would give him information about government investigation. Najera would also help Devis move military/police check points when Devis was moving drugs and weapons in Colon.
RELATIONSHIP WITH PORFIRIO “PEPE” LOBO & FABIO LOBO (PEPE’S SON)
** Met Pepe Lobo in approximately 2009 in person.
** Paid him between $500,000 to $600,000 in bribes and Pepe promised to protect him from extradition during his government. He also helped him protect drug shipments and helped Devis launder money.
** Fabio Lobo also assisted Los Cachiros by protecting shipments of drugs when transporting them from the north coast to El Espiritu, Copan. He also helped launder money by arranging contracts for INRIMAR (see below) to launder money.
** Paid Fabio Lobo approximately 250,000 (currency unclear) in bribes.
** When Los Cachiros was sanctioned by OFAC, Fabio Lobo provided Los Cachiros with a list of companies and properties that the state was going to seize.
·** With Pepe Lobo and Fabio Lobo’s help, Los Cachiros were able to hide weapons, money, cars, properties, and livestock.
OTHER BRIBES TO POLITICIANS (OTHER THAN WHATS ALREADY BEEN MENTIONED)
** Devis said he bribed Tony with $50,000 and JOH with $250,000
** He bribed the Minister of Security Julian Pacheco.
** A front company created by Los Cachiros with drug money. The company would then invest in contracts given by the government to build highways, then the Honduran Treasury would pay the company for the work.
** Received a total of approximately 250 million to 350 million lempiras in contracts with government. When the administration of Pepe Lobo ended, the Honduran government owed him between 25 to 38 million lempiras [$1 million to $1.55 million].
** When the Office for Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned Los Cachiros and its companies including INRIMAR in approximately 2013, Devis spoke to Tony Hernandez for help.
RELATIONSHIP WITH JAIME ROSENTHAL, FORMER PRESIDENT OF CONTINENTAL BANK
** Devis was a very good friend of Jaime Rosenthal’s (now deceased)
** In 2013, when Los Cachiros were sanctioned by OFAC, Jaime Rosenthal warned Los Cachiros that their accounts were going to be frozen so they withdrew the money (approximately 100 million lempiras) in cash.
** Los Cachiros livestock company ‘GAN’ bought and sold cattle with drug money. They would sell the cattle to the Rosenthal family’s company “Empacadora Continental” through Continental bank, then once they butchered the cattle, they would give the money back to GAN.
o Only Jaime Rosenthal knew it was a money laundering scheme.