Former president Juan Orlando Hernandez is detained after leaving his house in capital Tegucigalpa, in a dramatic fall from grace only weeks after leaving power.

Juan Orlando Hernandez was given a bulletproof vest during his detention as he exited his home to be brought before a judge.
Juan Orlando Hernandez was given a bulletproof vest during his detention as he exited his home to be brought before a judge. (AFP)

Honduran ex-president Juan Orlando Hernandez, whose extradition is sought by the United States for alleged ties with drug traffickers, has surrendered to police after a judge ordered his arrest. 

The former leader was given a bulletproof vest by police and handcuffed as he exited his home in the capital Tegucigalpa on Tuesday to be brought before a judge.

Earlier on Tuesday, a Honduran judge ordered the arrest of Hernandez, a judicial spokesman said, adding he must appear before the judge within 24 hours.

A US embassy document, seen by Reuters news agency, said Hernandez was wanted on charges that he participated in a drug-trafficking scheme between 2004 and 2022.

Hernandez, who was replaced as president last month by leftist Xiomara Castro, has pledged to cooperate with national police.

Among the charges, Hernandez, 53, is accused of participating in an operation to receive in Honduras tonnes of cocaine from Colombia and Venezuela, the document said. The cocaine was then to be shipped to the United States.

The embassy also said Hernandez –– who was president from 2014 to 2022 –– received millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for protecting traffickers from investigation and prosecution. 

The firearms charges include carrying, using, or aiding and abetting the use of weapons, including machine guns.

READ MORE: US requests extradition of ex-Honduran president Hernandez

Source: TRTWorld and agencies