Miami, Florida - A Honduran man was sentenced Thursday to 33 years in prison for leading a drug trafficking organization that smuggled at least thousands of kilos of cocaine into the United States over the last decade.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger for the Eastern District of Virginia, Special Agent in Charge Jesse R. Fong of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division, Assistant Director in Charge Nancy McNamara of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Raymond Villanueva of U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C. and Superintendent of Virginia State Police Colonel Gary T. Settle made the announcement.

Arnulfo Fagot-Maximo, 58, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Liam O’ Grady for the Eastern District of Virginia.  According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Fagot-Maximo was the leader of a drug trafficking organization based in the La Mosquitia region of the Department of Gracias a Dios, Honduras.  His organization was a critical link between Colombian cocaine suppliers and other major Honduran traffickers.  For over a decade, Fagot-Maximo received cocaine along the Mosquitia coast from Colombia by “go fast” boats, small aircraft and submersible vessels in quantities ranging from a few hundred to several thousand kilograms per delivery.  Most of this cocaine was transferred to the Montes-Bobadilla organization in Francia, Honduras, where other traffickers received it.  Eventually the cocaine was transported by land through Honduras and Guatemala, and then it was delivered to the Mexican cartels for importation into the United States.  Fagot-Maximo received tens of millions of dollars in U.S. currency for the sale and delivery of this cocaine. 

The case was investigated by the DEA as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), Operation Harpoon through DEA’s HIDTA Task Force in Annandale Virginia.  The OCDETF program is a federal multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations.  The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

Assistance in the investigation and prosecution was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Southern District of New York, the Middle District of Florida, and the Southern District of Florida.  Assistance was also provided by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Honduran National Police.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys James L. Trump, Thomas W. Traxler and Trial Attorney Anthony Aminoff with the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section prosecuted the case.