Honduran national pleads guilty to human smuggling, cocaine distribution scheme

WASHINGTON (WMBD) — A foreign national pleaded guilty Thursday in connection to human smuggling and cocaine distribution schemes.

According to a U.S. Department of Justice news release, in February 2022, 41-year-old Darrell Martinez and six co-conspirators planned to bring 23 Honduran nationals and at least 24 kilograms of cocaine from Honduras to Cocodrie, Louisiana by boat.

The boat developed engine trouble in the Gulf of Mexico. Martinez and his co-conspirators attempted to charter a boat to bring them fuel to complete their journey, but the U.S. Coastguard located them and towed them to shore.

Martinez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and conspiracy to unlawfully bring aliens to the United States for financial gain.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 14, and faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.

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