US puts $5m bounty on ‘drug queen’ thought to head notorious Honduran crime cartel

The US government has put a $5m bounty on a grandmother “drug queen” it claims heads up a notorious Honduran crime cartel.

Herlinda Bobadilla, who is also known as La Chinda, is accused by officials of leading a criminal family that smuggles cocaine from Honduras to the US.

The reward is also being offered for the arrest of her sons, Juan Carlos and Tito Montes Bobadilla.

Authorities accuse Ms Bobadilla of running a drug smuggling network using planes, boats, and trucks that move the drugs from Colombia through Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, and eventually into the United States.

“Their leadership roles in the Montes drug trafficking organization have grown significantly since the 2017 arrest and 2019 extradition to the United States of Herlinda’s third son, Noe Montes Bobadilla, who is currently serving a 37-year sentence for conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine intended for unlawful importation to the United States,” according to the Department of State.

The payment is the same offered for the arrest of the four children of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, who founded the Sinaloa Cartel.

The Department of State’s Narcotics Rewards Program was established in 1986 and has led to the arrests of more than 75 major drug traffickers.

Ms Bobadilla has been on the run from US authorities for seven years after she and her children were indicted in 2015 by a Virginia federal grand jury for illegally importing cocaine into the US.

Ms Bobadilla and her two sons were based in Colón, a coastal area of Honduras that allowed for seaborne deliveries of cocaine from Colombia, according to Vice.

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