With a lawyer paid with American money, “Tigre” Bonilla appears at the first hearing » Criterio.hn

Juan Carlos Bonilla Valladares submitted to the Court a financial affidavit alleging that he did not have sufficient funds to pay for a private attorney, for which he requested and was assigned a public defender.

Tegucigalpa.- One day after the presentation of charges against Juan Orlando Hernández, his alleged partner and collaborator, the former director of the National Police, Juan Carlos “El Tigre” Bonilla Valladares, was presented before a New York Court after his extradition to the United States. Joined.

Bonilla Valladares is accused by the District Attorney for the Southern District of New York for the crimes of conspiracy to import cocaine, possession of machine guns and destructive devices, and conspiracy to possess machine guns and destructive devices.

His extradition was carried out this week, specifically on Tuesday, May 13, and according to the United States justice, “El Tigre” Bonilla aligned himself with the former president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández, to murder and traffic cocaine.

Present at the hearing were Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSA), Jacob H. Gutwillig and Elinor L. Tarlow. Both attended yesterday the indictment hearing for crimes related to drug trafficking of former President Juan Orlando Hernández, according to reports Inner City Press.

Juan Carlos Bonilla Valladares appeared at the Magistrates Court wearing a white T-shirt and accompanied by two US Marshals. The judge assigned for this first session was Justice Katharine Parker.

Journalist Matthew Russell Lee, one of the first to be in the room, stated that “El Tigre” Bonilla submitted a financial affidavit alleging that he did not have enough funds to pay for a private attorney, for which he was assigned an identified public defender. like Raoul Salzberg.

Interestingly, Rusell Lee reported, this same lawyer was given a bag with an undetermined amount of dollars and when asked in an elevator if he had been assigned today as public defender, the lawyer said it was a couple of days ago.

Later, through a video, the journalist explained that this does not usually work like that. The public defender, who is paid for by US taxpayers’ taxes, is assigned on the same day that the accused requests a public defender due to being in a precarious financial situation.

To which Russell Lee asked in Spanish “Where is the money?” While he English questioned how difficult it is to believe that he has no resources when he is being singled out as a notorious drug trafficker to the United States.

The hearing for the presentation of charges against Juan Carlos “El Tigre” Bonilla Valladares was set for Friday, June 10. In the meantime he will remain in detention

If found guilty, Bonilla Valladares faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison for the charge of conspiracy to import cocaine; a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison for possession of machine guns and destructive devices; and a maximum sentence of life in prison for the crime of conspiracy to possess machine guns and destructive devices.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND DEA PRONOUNCE

Earlier in a Justice Department statement, federal prosecutor Damian Williams said: “Instead of using his high-powered position as Honduran Police Chief to combat drug trafficking, Juan Carlos Bonilla Valladares, alias ‘El Tigre’ , corruptly exploited his position to protect and aid the drug trafficking organizations he was obligated to disrupt.”

He added that “with their support and protection, Bonilla Valladares’s associates became a critical conduit for drug trafficking from Central America to the United States. His extradition demonstrates that no one is exempt by virtue of his title or position of authority, including foreign presidents and police chiefs, from criminal prosecution for contributing to the flood of illegal narcotics in this country that causes so much harm.” .

While the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Anne Milgram, pointed out that “former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández would not have come to power and successfully benefited from massive drug profits had it not been for his extensive network of corrupt associates”, among which he included Bonilla Valladares. She added that “Bonilla Valladares further betrayed the Honduran people by using her law enforcement badge to cover up his crimes.”