MIAMI A man from South Florida took part in a conspiracy to smuggle Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodger’s star in which he was seeking a sizable cut of the outfielder’s multimillion-dollar salary.
Gilberto Suarez, 40, entered the plea Tuesday before US District Judge Robert Scola, who set a March 6 sentencing date. The alien smuggling conspiracy charge carries a maximum of 10 years in prison, although Suarez is likely to get a more lenient sentence under his plea deal with prosecutors.
Investigators and court documents say Suarez was one of the Miami-based financiers of the 2012 smuggling venture in which Puig was taken by boat from Cuba to a fishing village near Cancun, Mexico, eventually crossing into the US at Brownsville, Texas, on July 3 that year. In return, the financiers were getting a percentage of the seven-year, $42 million contract Puig signed with the Dodgers.