TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) – A Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) plane took off from the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa on Tuesday morning carrying the country’s former police, Juan Carlos “El Tigre” Bonilla, who is being extradited to the United States on drug-trafficking charges.
Bonilla, who was police chief in the Central American nation between 2012 and 2013 under former right-wing former President Porfirio Lobo, was arrested in March as he was driving through a toll booth.
He has denied the accusations from U.S. prosecutors, who have sought his extradition for more than two years.
“I go with the presence of the Almighty, my head held high, a clear conscience that I owe nothing to the United States,” Bonilla wrote in a letter published in local media last week.
Earlier on Tuesday, former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez pleaded not guilty to drug and weapons charges in a U.S. federal court, following his extradition last month.
Hernandez is accused of receiving millions of dollars from drug traffickers in exchange for immunity.
(Reporting by Orfa Mejia; Writing by Kylie Madry; Editing by Howard Goller)