Plea bargain for Maduro’s nephews?

The nephews of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who were arrested by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on 11 November as allegedly trying to smuggle 800 kg of cocaine in the US, are trying to negotiate a deal with New York federal prosecutors. The two men would reportedly hand over details on the relationship between the Venezuelan political establishment and drug trafficking networks.

The two men asked another postponement for the next hearing, where they will have to declare guilty or innocent. The postponement was allegedly requested in order to finalise a plea bargain with the prosecutor office. According to sources, the two men would declare themselves guilty and would hand over details and testimonies on the operation they were conducting, in order to get a lower sentence.

Maduro’s nephews were charged with accusations that could lead to life in prison, although the sentence is frequently reduced to 20-30 years. A bargain with the prosecutor could lead to a much lower sentence, although the proofs, details and testimonies must turn out to be extremely valuable.

According to sources, the prosecutors are in possessions of very solid proof, which would guarantee the conviction of the two men. As it currently stands, Flores and De Freitas would be constrained to make a deal. The sentence would then entirely depend on the capability of the two men to finger the leaders of the criminal network they were part of.