Judge rules statements admissible in Venezuelan drug case - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Judge rules statements admissible in Venezuelan drug case

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A judge says statements made by two nephews of Venezuela's first lady when they were flown to the U.S. to face trial on drug charges can be used at trial.

U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty ruled Wednesday on statements made by Efrain Campo and Francisco Flores.

Arrested in Haiti last year, the men have pleaded not guilty to importing more than 1,700 pounds of cocaine into the U.S. They are nephews of Venezuelan first lady Cilia Flores.

The defendants argued they were terrorized after their arrests and feared they were being kidnapped and might be killed. But the judge said the evidence does not support a conclusion that the men were mentally intimidated, coerced or deceived.

He said nothing indicated U.S. agents sought to take advantage of the defendants.

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