Honduras is a key checkpoint for drug traffickers moving Colombian cocaine to the United States through Mexico. It is the home of the Los Valles Cartel, one of the leading drug trafficking organizations in the world. Leaders of the cartel are set to plead guilty to smuggling tens of thousands of kilos of coke into the US very soon.
On Thursday, Miguel Arnulfo Valle Valle, 43, and Luis Alonso Valle Valle, 46, are scheduled to appear for plea hearings. Charges were filed against the brothers in December 2014 for importing tons of the white into the U.S.. According to ABC News:
The indictment describes Arnulfo Valle Valle as the organization’s leader and Luis as his top lieutenant. The indictment accuses Los Valles of using kidnapping, murder and bribes to further its interests. One of those indicted along with the Valle Valles was a Honduran police official, Wilmer Alonzo Carranza Bonilla, who was assigned to work drug investigations alongside U.S. authorities at the embassy in Tegucigalpa. He pleaded guilty last month in Alexandria to taking bribes to tip off the cartel about enforcement efforts.
A third brother, Jose Valle Valle, has already pleaded guilty to similar charges. He reportedly played a lesser role in the operation, but he is still facing a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison. As a part of his plea agreement, he admitted that the cartel shipped cocaine to Guatemala, where it was transferred to Mexico and then sent into the US. He also revealed that the organization moved coke directly into the US in shoes and picture frames.
It has also been revealed that the Los Valles Cartel operation was based in Copan, Honduras, and that a coffee company and the family’s cattle and milk companies were used to launder proceeds.