Former Honduran president pleads not guilty to federal drug trafficking and firearm charges

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(CNN)Former Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernández connected Tuesday pleaded not blameworthy successful US tribunal to national cause trafficking and firearms possession charges.

The indictment successful the US District Court for the Southern District of New York charges Hernández with cocaine importation conspiracy, possession of instrumentality guns and destructive devices, and conspiracy to person instrumentality guns and destructive devices.

"As is charged successful the indictment, Hernández abused his presumption arsenic President of Honduras from 2014 done 2022 to run the state arsenic a narco-state," US Attorney General Merrick Garland said successful April.

    Hernández was extradited to the United States successful April aft helium was arrested successful February astatine the petition of the US government.

      About a period earlier his arrest, US national prosecutors claimed Hernández helped an alleged cause trafficker present thousands of kilos of cocaine to the US successful speech for hefty bribes. His medication denied the allegation.

      On Tuesday, Hernández entered the New York courtroom wearing a navy bluish jailhouse outfit and nodded toward those successful attendance, including journalists and members of the public. On the mode retired respective members of the nationalist shouted astatine him, "murderer," "time to repent JOH," and "rat."

      Hernández was listening via an interpreter. When asked however helium would plea, helium responded successful Spanish "not guilty, your honor."

        Hernández is escorted by members of the constabulary  peculiar   forces successful  Tegucigalpa up  of his extradition.

        The erstwhile Honduran person near bureau successful January, having served 8 years arsenic president.

        At the clip of his extradition, the US Justice Department besides unsealed an indictment alleging Hernández engaged successful a conspiracy to support and nett disconnected smugglers moving cocaine from Central and South America into the United States.

        Hernández's brother, Tony Hernández, is presently serving a beingness condemnation successful a US national situation for cause trafficking.

          According to tribunal filings successful that case, US authorities judge Hernández was a co-conspirator successful the operation, funneling cause wealth to assistance money his statesmanlike campaigns. Hernández has repeatedly denied those allegations.

          The adjacent proceeding for Hernández is scheduled to instrumentality spot connected September 28. Castel said helium hopes to impanel a assemblage by aboriginal adjacent twelvemonth and acceptable a tentative January 17, 2023 day for opening of trial.

          CNN's Karol Suarez, Hannah Rabinowitz, Bertha Ramos, Elvin Sandoval and Sahar Akbarzai contributed reporting.

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