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Sinaloa cartel’s top moneyman in Honduras pleads guilty in Miami Federal Court

December 19, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Sinaloa cartel’s top moneyman in Honduras pleads guilty in Miami Federal Court

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Top drug trafficking suspect who goes by the nickname “The Wizard,” appeared in Miami Federal Court to plead guilty in a drug-trafficking case that was initially filed in New Jersey.Federal pFranco Daniel Lombardi, who is accused of being a Sinaloa cartel rep in Honduras, is also associated with a second drug-trafficking suit filed in Miami.

A federal indictment charged Franco Daniel Lombardo, alias ” El Mago” of being the Sinaloa cartel’s top financial operative in Honduras.

As Jammed Up News reported, Lombardi was arrested in Honduras back in April during an operation involving Honduran authorities and the DEA. A grand jury in Newark New Jersey also handed down a second drug-trafficking indictment filed in New Jersey back in 2015.

If the suspect pleads guilty in the New Jersey case, it would mark the second time he has accepted a plea in a drug case.

Lombardi pleaded guilty in Miami Federal Court back in November when he appeared before U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard for money-laundering charges that were associated with profits derived from the distribution of cocaine, court records indicate, The Miami Herald reported.

A sentencing hearing for the Miami case has been scheduled for February 27th. The date for the hearing in the Newark case has not yet been scheduled because N.J. prosecutors have yet to finalize the paperwork to assign the case to Miami, according to Lombardi’s attorney, Paul Domenic Petruzzi, who spoke in court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edwin Torres on Friday.

The 45-year-old is the second suspected member of a Latin American drug cartel that has been extradited in Miami within the past few months.

On November 17th, top Colombian drug lord Henry de Jesús López Londoño, aka “Mi Sangre” or “My Blood,” was extradited from Argentina to face cocaine-trafficking charges. Londoño pleaded not guilty on November 28th.

A Miami grand jury indicted Lombardi back in June 2015.

The indictment in Newark was filed two months later, on charges that linked him to the trafficking of heroin.

Lombardi managed a restaurant and had other financial investments in Honduras, which prosecutors allege were used to launder illicit drug proceeds for the Sinaloa cartel.

Lombardi was immediately extradited to the Miami following his captured in Honduras, and he was transferred to Miami in April.

Media reports in Honduras referred to Lombardi as a financial rep for the infamous leader of Mexico;s Sinaloa cartel, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, who is currently awaiting extradition to the United States where he will face trial for multiple drug trafficking cases in seven different U.S. jurisdictions.

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