Venezuela first lady’s nephews convicted

New York, Nov 19 (IANS) Two nephews of Venezuela’s first lady were found guilty of conspiring to import 800 kg of cocaine into the US.

A federal jury in New York on Friday deliberated for over five hours before convicting Efrain Antonio Campo Flores, 29, and Francisco Flores de Freitas, 30, Efe news reported.

Sentencing is tentatively scheduled for March 7.

The trial began on November 7, almost a year to the day after the men were arrested in Haiti and brought to New York by agents of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Prosecutors said the Venezuelans planned to ship the cocaine to the US via Honduras.

Defecse attorneys, however, said the case was based on a sting operation engineered by a DEA informant who was trafficking drugs even as he was being paid by the US government.

Campo Flores was raised by Venezuelan Senator Cilia Flores, a lawyer and veteran political activist who plays a major role in the administration of her husband, President Nicolas Maduro.

She has not commented on their arrest and trial.