Cespedes, Abreu on US witness list in Cuban smuggling case

AP News
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Posted: Nov 15, 2016 1:18 PM

MIAMI (AP) — 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 communist-run island in secretive ventures that included surreptitious boat voyages.

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This story has been corrected to reflect that Cespedes is now a free agent.