The Cuban ballplayer human trafficking case goes to the jury

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The case against agent Bartolo Hernandez and trainer Julio Estrada, who have been accused of illegally smuggling baseball players into the United States from Cuba, has gone to the jury.

Deliberations will begin today, following six weeks of testimony in which prosecutors claimed that Hernandez and Estrada oversaw a criminal network aimed at getting players to the U.S. where they could sign lucrative contracts. Prosecutors claim that the men placed the players in harm’s way and caused them to sign away an inordinate amount of their future earnings under duress. Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox and Leonys Martin of the Seattle Mariners were among the players allegedly so affected, each of whom testified.