MIAMI — A sports agent and a baseball trainer convicted of illegally smuggling Cuban players into the U.S. have been sentenced to prison.
A Miami federal judge on Thursday sentenced agent Bartolo Hernandez to just under four years behind bars and trainer Julio Estrada to a little more than five years. Prosecutors had sought more lengthy sentences for what they called a sophisticated and violent scheme.
Hernandez and Estrada were convicted by a jury in March after a six-week trial.
Trial evidence showed the pair ran an international operation to smuggle Cuban players off the communist-run island in return for a cut of lucrative baseball contracts. The players include Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox, Adeiny Hechavarria of the Tampa Bay Rays and Leonys Martin of the Chicago Cubs.
Curt Anderson, The Associated Press