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DEA agents arrest members of Venezuelan president's family

By
Shawn Price
U.S. agents arrested members of the Venezuelan president's family Tuesday in Haiti on charges of drug smuggling, officials said. File photo by UPI
U.S. agents arrested members of the Venezuelan president's family Tuesday in Haiti on charges of drug smuggling, officials said. File photo by UPI

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- U.S. agents arrested members of the Venezuelan president's family in Haiti on charges of drug smuggling, officials said.

Agents for the Drug Enforcement Administration arrested two nephews of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and his wife as part of a sting operation in Port-au-Prince. The two men were identified as Efrain Antonio Campo Flores and Francisco Flores Freites.

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Flores and Freites were caught allegedly attempting to finalize a deal to transport about 1,700 pounds of cocaine from Haiti to the United States, DEA officials said.

As the two were being arrested, they openly identified themselves as the son and nephew of Venezuela's first lady, Cilia Flores, and declared they had diplomatic immunity. Both had Venezuelan diplomatic passports.

Agents found no basis for their claim and transported them to New York. Both men were scheduled to appear before a federal judge Thursday.

Flores was reportedly raised by the Maduro and his wife.

The two men told agents they were acting in conjuction with Venezuela's speaker of the National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, and former Minister of the Interior, Tarck el Aissami. Cabello is considered the country's second most powerful figure, but has been the target of a U.S. drug-trafficking investigation.

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