Jury convicts sports agent, trainer in Cuban smuggling case
From seattlepi.com: Seattle Mariners & Baseball News
March 15, 2017 - 4:37pm
MIAMI (AP) — A Miami jury on Wednesday convicted a Florida sports agent and a baseball trainer on charges they smuggled Cuban baseball players to the U.S. in search of big profits from professional free agent contracts.
The verdict came after jurors heard about six weeks of testimony in the trial of Bartolo Hernandez and Julio Estrada, who were indicted on conspiracy and alien smuggling charges for an operation that began in 2009 and involved a number of high-profile Major League Baseball players.
Trial evidence showed an existing Cuban smuggling operation that brought people from the communist-run island to Mexico became the platform in 2009 for the much more lucrative trade in elite ballplayers.
In one of the trial's memorable moments, Chicago White Sox star Jose Abreu testified that he ate a piece of his phony Haitian passport while flying to the U.S. in 2013 because he feared repercussions if he landed in Miami with a fake document.
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