Agent Arrested for Allegedly Smuggling Leonys Martin from Cuba
The Associated Press
by WILLIAM BIGELOW 20 Feb 2016
On Friday, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI arrested Bart
Hernandez, an agent who has represented Cuban baseball stars, including
Jose Abreu, Adeiny Hechavarria, Jorge Soler and Leonys Martin, on
charges of human smuggling.
The federal grand jury’s indictment revolves around Leonys Martin,
traded to the Seattle Mariners by the Texas Rangers after last season.
The indictment accuses Hernandez of working with two already-convicted
Cuban alien smugglers, Eliezer Lazo and Joel Martinez Hernandez, to
illegally transport a Cuban national identified as “L.M.T.” into the
United States. ESPN sources asserted that “L.M.T.” stands for Leonys
Martin Tapanes, Martin’s full Spanish name.
Martin has already asserted that he was held prisoner in Mexico by
Lazo’s group after he was smuggled out of Cuba. The center fielder has
also stated that Hernandez had a deal with the Lazo group to rep
ballplayers retrieved from Cuba.
Sources told ESPN Hernandez had rejected a pre-indictment plea deal. He
could serve up to 20 years in prison if convicted. The indictment
stipulates that Hernandez turn over $1.5 million, which prosecutors
allege Hernandez received in “gross proceeds” from his actions involving
Martin and two other people, “J.A.C.” and “D.H.H.” Jose Abreu’s full
name is Jose Abreu Correa; Phillies reliever Dalier Hinojosa was repped
by Hernandez in 2013.
Lazo was sentenced in 2014 to 14 1/2 years in prison for extorting some
of the roughly 1,000 migrants that he helped smuggle out of Cuba,
including as many as two dozen baseball players.
ESPN reported in December 2014, “Under the U.S. ‘wet foot, dry foot’
policy, Cubans who make it to U.S. soil are generally allowed to remain,
while those intercepted at sea are returned to the communist island.”
Source: Agent Arrested for Allegedly Smuggling Leonys Martin from Cuba –