HomeNewsBriefHonduras Drug Trafficker Pleads Guilty in Milestone Case
BRIEF

Honduras Drug Trafficker Pleads Guilty in Milestone Case

EXTRADITION / 8 JAN 2016 BY ARRON DAUGHERTY EN

In a landmark case, Honduras and the United States have collaborated in swiftly extraditing and convicting a member of the infamous Los Valle drug clan. However, it is uncertain whether this type of cooperation will continue. 

Jose Inocente Valle and his wife Marlen Griselda Amaya pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges in a US court, reported La Prensa. The pair were sentenced to 10 and six years in prison, respectively. 

Inocente Valle and his wife received lighter sentences as part of a deal with US officials, his lawyer Omar Dubon was quoted as saying. "This doesn't mean they are giving up people, but [drug trafficking] routes," Dubon added. 

According to Dubon, Inocente Valle's sentence was also a reflection of his minor role in the Valles' drug trafficking operations. 

SEE ALSO: Los Valle News Coverage

Inocente Valle's brothers, Miguel Arnulfo and Luis Alonso Valle Valle are also expected to plead guilty in US courts on January 14, reported El Libertador.

InSight Crime Analysis

The capture and extradition of the Valle brothers marked a new level of cooperation between Honduras and the United States. Unlike countries such as Colombia, until recently Honduras did not extradite suspected criminals to the United States as part of its drug policy. However, the Valle brothers were captured in late 2014, extradited shortly afterwards, and will likely all be sentenced in early 2016.   

The relatively short amount of time that the Valles will apparently spend in US custody before being sentenced could have several important ramifications. First and foremost, it could make it easier for US authorities to take short-term action, based on any intelligence that the Valles give to the US regarding Central American drug trafficking. During their heyday, the Valles were major players in the region's drug trade, especially in western Honduras. The group corrupted many local officials and were also thought to be working with Mexico's powerful Sinaloa Cartel. 

SEE ALSO: Elites and Organized Crime Coverage

Although Dubon claimed that Inocente Valle did not name any names, the Honduran elites that cooperated with the Valles may yet have additional reason to worry, particulary if Inocente Valle's brothers also decide to cooperate. 

While this appears to be a victory against organized crime in the short-term, it is uncertain whether this level of cooperation between Honduras and the United States will continue through 2016. It may be that cases like the Valles -- or that involving Honduras' influential Rosenthal family -- are one-time events, rather than representing the beginning of a string of such investigations.  

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

CRIMINAL MIGRATION / 6 OCT 2022

El Salvador will hold off on extraditing a top MS13 gang leader to the United States to face terrorism charges.

HONDURAS / 11 NOV 2021

Honduras has seen a surge in marijuana seizures and plantations, indicating a booming trade in illegal cannabis that stands to…

BRAZIL / 20 FEB 2021

Drug traffickers engage in a creative game of hide and seek with coast guards and other security forces that board…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…