Guilty Plea in Cuban Smuggling Case

Eliezer Lazo pleaded guilty to the smuggling of over 1,000 Cubans, including baseball stars such as Leonys Martin. Lazo is already serving five years for a money laundering conviction. After the Cubans were smuggled they would be freed only after a $10,000 ransom was paid. For Martin that ransom was much higher. He paid a total of $1.2 million to the group and they were suing him to acquire more since the contract Martin signed under duress required him to pay the group 35 percent of his salary. Martin signed with the Texas Rangers for five years and $15.5 million.

The ransom netted the smugglers $1.5 million which allowed them to build a baseball academy in Mexico for major league scouts to watch the smuggled Cuban players.

You can read about the guilty plea here: http://m.apnews.com/ap/db_268748/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=RcSia8lP

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