Former Honduran lawmaker arrested for alleged trafficking of cocaine

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A former Honduran lawmaker who was said to have spent years on the run while avoiding a US extradition order for alleged cocaine trafficking has been captured.

The Central American country’s security minister, Ramon Sabillon, said 62-year-old Midence Oqueli Martinez Turcios, was arrested on Saturday.

Martinez, who was a lawmaker for the centrist Liberal Party from 2010 to 2018, had been on the run since 2018 after a New York court requested his extradition, accusing him of working with the Los Cachiros cartel to traffic cocaine to the United States between 2004 and 2014.

Martinez was said to have taken over $1 million in bribes from the cartel to fund his political activities and used his position to provide cover for businesses run by the gang, according to the indictment.

Hundreds of Hondurans have been extradited, captured or voluntarily surrendered themselves to US authorities for drug trafficking since 2010.

In April, former Honduran president, Juan Orlando Hernandez, was extradited on drug charges.

He was accused of exporting 500 tons of cocaine to the United States since 2004.