Sept. sentencing in Cuban baseball player smuggling case

MIAMI — A September sentencing date has been set for a sports agent and a baseball trainer convicted in Miami of smuggling Cuban baseball players into the U.S.
Court records show a federal judge has set Sept. 29 for the sentencing of agent Bartolo Hernandez and trainer Julio Estrada, convicted by a jury in March after a six-week trial.
Prosecutors said Hernandez faces up to 15 years in prison and Estrada — convicted of more smuggling counts — faces a maximum of 35 years behind bars.
Trial evidence showed the pair ran an international operation to smuggle Cuban players in return for a cut of their lucrative baseball contracts, including Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox, Adeiny Hechavarria of the Tampa Bay Rays and Leonys Martin of the Seattle Mariners.

This Feb. 1, 2017 photo shows sports agent Bartolo Hernandez leaving federal court in Miami. Two Cuban baseball players told a federal jury, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, 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 associate. The two testified in the alien-smuggling and conspiracy trial of agent Bartolo Hernandez and trainer Julio Estrada, who contend their business was legitimate. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)