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  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
  2. News Room
  3. Honduran National Arrested for Allegedly Retaliating Against Federal Witness

Honduran National Arrested for Allegedly Retaliating Against Federal Witness

Release Date: March 7, 2024

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Honduran national was arrested March 1 in Antioch for allegedly conspiring to retaliate and allegedly retaliating against a federal witness following an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Nashville; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Nashville; and the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.

Bayron Santos-Recarte, a 25-year-old Honduran national, was charged in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee.

Special Agent in Charge Rana Saoud of HSI Nashville, acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, acting U.S. Attorney Thomas J. Jaworski for the Middle District of Tennessee, and Special Agent in Charge Marcus Watson of the ATF’s Nashville Field Division made the announcement.

“For far too long, criminal organizations and transnational gangs like MS-13 have used physical violence and threats of force to intimidate or retaliate against witnesses by reigning terror on local communities,” said Saoud. “By working together with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, we root out those who seek to undermine these basic constitutional protections for witnesses and end their lawless behavior.”

According to court documents, Santos-Recarte and his co-conspirators allegedly agreed to, and did, physically assault the witness for testifying during a racketeer influenced and corrupt organization conspiracy trial in spring 2023 involving the MS-13 transnational street gang.

On Nov. 4, 2023, Santos-Recarte and his co-conspirators allegedly took the witness by force and at gunpoint and placed him in a truck where they tied his hands together. They allegedly interrogated him for hours about his trial testimony and repeatedly assaulted him before he was able to escape.

If convicted, Santos-Recarte faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for conspiring to retaliate against a federal witness and a maximum penalty of life in prison for retaliating against a federal witness. Santos-Recarte is currently in federal custody.

“Our office is grateful for individuals who do the right thing and display the courage to tell a jury about criminal conduct in our community,” said Jaworski. “This arrest shows that our office will not allow threats or retaliation against witnesses to go unpunished. We commend law enforcement for their efforts to see justice done in this case.”

“The integrity and safety of those who participate in our judicial system is at the core of our legal system,” said Watson. “The arrest of those individuals who are alleged to have threatened a witness in a criminal trial and inflicted physical harm is a welcomed relief to the citizens of the greater Nashville metropolitan area.”

Trial Attorney Matthew Hoff of the Criminal Division’s Violent Crime and Racketeering Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the Middle District of Tennessee Ahmed Safeeullah and Brooke Farzad are prosecuting this case.

For more news and information on HSI Nashville follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @HSI_Nashville.

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Last Updated: 04/22/2024
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