As Honduras remains riveted on the trial of Tony Hernández, a document from the case file reveals details of another drug trafficking connection involving one of Central America’s wealthiest and most politically connected families.
Exhibit G from US v. Juan Antonio “Tony” Hernández — the landmark trial in New York against the brother of sitting Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández — is a straightforward legal request by the US prosecutor to a judge for access to information from emails stored on various private servers.
As a justification for its request, the exhibit details numerous connections between one of Honduras’ foremost drug trafficking clans, popularly known as the Cachiros, and one of the country’s most powerful families, the Rosenthals.
The document, dated July 2, 2015, lists the targets of the investigation, which include Jaime Rosenthal, the recently deceased patriarch and former Honduran vice president; Jaime’s son, Yani, who ran for president once and may do so again; and Jaime’s nephew, Yankel, then the president of Marathon, one of Honduras’ premier soccer clubs, which was owned by the family.
In October 2015, US prosecutors charged Jaime, Yani, Yankel, as well as a company lawyer, Andres Acosta, with drug trafficking and money laundering, among other crimes. But unlike the Tony Hernández case, the Rosenthal case did not go to trial. Yani, Yankel, and Acosta pleaded guilty and were sentenced independently. Presumably because of their cooperation in theirs and other cases, US authorities did not press Honduras to extradite Jaime, who died in Honduras in January 2019.
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