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Julio Estrada

Joe Henderson: Miami trial shines light on smuggling Cuban baseball players to U.S.

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It is not unusual when a Major League Baseball team signs a Cuban defector. There is a lengthy list of players who fled that island nation so they could barter their skills for the considerable cash that comes with playing in the United States. Usually, those stories have been treated as valiant escapes from a repressive government and the search for a better life. A trial that concluded Wednesday in a Miami courtroom though painted a different story. Instead of…

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Cuban players: We paid thousands for journey to U.S. baseball

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Two Cuban baseball players told a federal jury Tuesday that they paid tens of thousands of dollars from signing bonuses with Major League Baseball teams to a smuggling network that prosecutors say was overseen by a Florida sports agent and his trainer associate. The players, Jorge Padron and Reinier Roibal, described how they were spirited off the communist-run island on speedboats bound for Cancun, Mexico, where they trained while awaiting documents necessary to go to the U.S. to sign lucrative…

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