Venezuela first lady's nephews jailed for drugs

From BBC - December 14, 2017

Two nephews of Venezuela's first lady have been sentenced to 18 years in prison in the US after being convicted of trafficking drugs.

Franqui Francisco Flores de Freitas, 32, and Efran Antonio Campo Flores, 31 were accused of conspiring to smuggle 1,700 pounds (800kg) of cocaine into the United States.

The men are the nephews of Cilia Flores, Venezuelan President Nicols Maduro's wife.

The two were arrested in Haiti in 2015.

Venezuela has accused the US of kidnapping the two men and framing them in order to undermine Mr Maduro's socialist government.

Ms Flores is a member of Venezuela's powerful constituent assembly and served as speaker of the National Assembly between 2006 and 2011.

'No criminal record'

Flores de Freitas and Campos Flores were arrested in Haiti in November 2015 by undercover US Drug Enforcement agents.

They were taken to New York, charged with drug trafficking offences and convicted a year ago.

Prosecutors said they men were in Haiti making arrangements to smuggle cocaine from South America to the US via Honduras.

Prosecutors had sought for a sentence of 30 years, which US District Judge Paul Crotty in New York said "would be excessive" as they had no criminal record.

'A good person'


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