Ce­s­pedes on US wit­ness list in Cuban smug­gling case

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS -

Free agent out­fielder Yoe­nis Ce­s­pedes, who last played for the New York Mets, and Chicago White Sox star Jose Abreu are among the Ma­jor League Base­ball fig­ures on a U.S. wit­ness list for an up­com­ing Cuban ballplayer smug­gling trial.

Doc­u­ments filed Mon­day in Mi­ami fed­eral court also list for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Madeleine Al­bright and sev­eral MLB ex­ec­u­tives as pos­si­ble wit­nesses in the trial of South Florida sport agents Bar­tolo Her­nan­dez and as­so­ciate Julio Estrada.

Trial is set Jan. 3 for Her­nan­dez and Estrada on charges of con­spir­acy and bring­ing im­mi­grants into the U.S. il­le­gally. Both men have pleaded not guilty. The play­ers are not ac­cused of wrong­do­ing.

A grand jury in­dict­ment says Cuban base­ball play­ers paid the smug­gling ring more than $15 mil­lion to leave the com­mu­nistrun is­land in se­cre­tive ven­tures that in­cluded sur­rep­ti­tious boat voy­ages.

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