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U.S. court condemns mature nephews to 18 years in jail for drug trafficking

The two sentenced, direct relatives of the Venezuelan president's wife, planned to enter the country 800 kilos of cocaine

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U.S. court condemns mature nephews to 18 years in jail for drug trafficking

A new York judge has condemned two nephews of Cilia Flores, wife of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, on Thursday for drug trafficking. The sentenced, Ephraim Campo Flores and Francisco Flores de Freitas, were detained in Haiti in 2015 by DEA, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, while planning to enter that country 800 kilos of cocaine. A popular jury declared m guilty a year ago.

Linked to most powerful family in Venezuela, nephews of first lady traveled to Port-au-Prince on a private plane equipped with a diplomatic passport-a circumstance that Chavez regime denies-to close operation, a criminal plan that consisted In transport of cocaine between Venezuela and United States on a scale in Honduras. They tried to use ir influences and ir own lawyers, from two prestigious offices in Manhattan and Chicago, designed defense strategy presenting as victims of a trap and qualifying as "rookies" and "stupid." The federal prosecutor's Office had asked for both a sentence of at least 30 years ' imprisonment. The judge, Paul Crotty, set finally a penalty of 216 months.

Ephraim Campo Flores, 31, a cousin of Francisco Flores de Freitas, grew up with wife of current president after death of his mor. During trial, it was shown that y both fell for ir contacts with DEA informants. The lawyers tried to disqualify investigation by defending informants receiving DEA payments of up to 1.5 million dollars. One of those people was killed in Honduras in December 2015. In any case, in trial were recorded recordings of his conversations with nephews of Maduro, according to Efe, who revealed that y planned to evade police controls using presidential hangar in Caracas Airport to remove Cocaine in country.

In one of se conversations, Campos Flores also reveals origin of drug of crops that had guerrillas of Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which a year ago signed a peace agreement with Colombian Government, was disarmed, Demobilized and has already begun to participate in politics.

Following condemnation of popular jury, in November 2016, Venezuelan National Assembly, mostly opposed before mature decided dismantling it by convening a constituent, approved a parliamentary debate on this case. This circumstance contributed at that time to tightening already damaged relations between alliance of critical parties with officialism, table of Democratic unity, and government. Government delegates arrived, according to opposition, to absent mselves from dialogue table as a sign of rejection. However, this was a temporary protest, since talks, which in any case did not lead to any meaningful agreement, were subsequently resumed.

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