The Region : Ex-Consul Convicted on Cocaine Charge

Honduras' former consul general in Los Angeles and another citizen of that Central American country were convicted in Los Angeles federal court of trying to smuggle about $10-million worth of cocaine into the United States. Oscar Judas Oqueli-Hernandez, 39, the former consul, and Gustavo Alvarado, 34, of Glendale were arrested July 22 after they arrived at Los Angeles International Airport on a flight from Rio de Janeiro. U.S. Customs agents found 13 kilograms of cocaine in one of Oqueli-Hernandez's suitcases. Alvarado, who was carrying the luggage, was arrested, but Oqueli-Hernandez presented his diplomatic passport to customs agents and left the airport. He returned later in the day to retrieve the luggage after Alvarado called him on instructions from federal drug agents, prosecutors said. He was arrested as he tried to leave the terminal with the luggage. The two men face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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