Jury To Weigh In On Cuban Ballplayer Smuggling Trial

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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – The fate of a sports agent and trainer accused of smuggling Cuban baseball players into the U.S. is now in the hands of a Miami federal jury.

Deliberations are scheduled to get under Wednesday after six weeks of testimony in the trial of agent Bartolo Hernandez and trainer Julio Estrada. Both are charged with conspiracy and alien smuggling.

Prosecutors said the two oversaw a network of boat captains, handlers, document forgers and used phony paperwork to get the players to the U.S. quickly so they could sign lucrative Major League Baseball contracts. Defense lawyers say the men did nothing illegal.

Several smuggled Cuban players testified, including Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox and Leonys Martin of the Seattle Mariners. Neither Hernandez nor Estrada took the witness stand.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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