New York Prosecutors Implicate Venezuela’s Maduro as Accomplice in Drug-Trafficking
The District Attorney for the Southern District of New York has released a document that reveals that Nicolás Maduro approved the drug trafficking actions undertaken by his nephews.
Prosecutor Joon H. Kim asserts that there is sufficient evidence that Efraín Antonio Campo Flores and Franqui Francisco Flores de Freitas were predisposed to commit the crime of drug trafficking because they maintained contact with cocaine suppliers and members of the FARC, while acting with the approval of Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro.
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The information was supplied by the Venezuelan journalist Maibort Petit, who has closely followed the case; this is the first time that the US Justice Department has directly linked Maduro to the “narconephews.”
“In the document before the court, the prosecution uses the word “imprimatur” to refer to Maduro’s knowledge of the drug trafficking business of his nephews. The term is used in political language to indicate that a program, a public statement, or any other document, receives the approval of the hierarchy of a party, its allies, or any other agent whose approval is considered important.
In the new revelations published in Venezuela al Dia, the prosecutor maintains that the drug flights made use of the most important airports in the country, under the auspices of the Venezuelan regime.
The document responds to the family of the “narconephews” who implored the judge not to condemn them to life imprisonment because according to them they are “innocent youths.”
In contrast, the prosecutor asked Judge Paul Crotty to impose on Campo Flores and Flores de Freitas a sentence of not less than 30 years in prison, further warning that they are two criminals who do not have a criminal record because their family in Venezuela exercises an iron grip over political and judicial power.
In a communication to Judge Paul Crotty, the prosecutor said that the “narconephews” attempted to delude the jury with stories of a poor childhood, when in fact both enjoyed a life of luxury thanks to the political position of their family.
The highest authority in the District Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York noted that there is abundant evidence that both were “not rookies”, and that there is evidence showing their previous activities in drug trafficking and their ability to get cocaine through the Colombian guerrilla group the FARC.
The Prosecutor’s Office contends that the facts are as follows: the defendants were leaders in a conspiracy to transport a large amount of cocaine to the United States; cultivated connections with at least one major cocaine supplier, as well as with a foreign terrorist organization; and sought to use part of the proceeds to finance their family’s electoral campaigns.
Relatives and advocates of the “narconephews” of Venezuela, sent letters to the judge of the case imploring that the accused be returned to Venezuela. The strategy was an attempt gain the judge’s compassion.
In a memorandum accompanied by letters, the relatives of Campo Flores affirm that “he is an honest young man, with family principles and moral values” who deserves a second chance. The nephews had faced the possibility of life imprisonment.
The family and the defense claim that “Campo Flores grew up and lived in poor conditions in a very poor country. When he was seven years old he lived with his grandmother in a house built with mud with 16 other members of his family, and later moved in with his aunt who is now the first lady of Venezuela.”
But the prosecution has requested life imprisonment for Efraín Antonio Flores Flores and Franqui Francisco Flores de Freitas, because during the trial, it was discovered that not only had they been linked to drug trafficking, but were also linked to organized crime in Venezuela via the leaders of the country’s most dangerous prisons.
There is further evidence that the nephews were involved in even more serious crimes; prosecutors discovered photos of unidentified mutilated corpses on their cellphones, believed to be murdered for running afoul of the Flores nephews during the course of their drug trafficking.