Caracas, September 19, 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Two top witnesses in a US drug case against the nephews of Venezuelan First Lady Cilia Flores confessed Friday to repeatedly lying to federal authorities in the course of the investigation.
During their testimony during a preliminary hearing in a Manhattan district court, the father-son team of undercover informants for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) admitted to lying to their handlers concerning illegal activities conducted during the probe, including allegations related to trafficking drugs into the US as well as hiring prostitutes.
Posing as members of the Mexican Sinoloa cartel, the informants were instrumental in the November 12 arrest of Franqui Francisco Flores de Freitas, 30, and Efrain Antonio Campo Flores, 29, in Haiti, allegedly in possession of over 800 kilograms of cocaine.
Lawyers for the two nephews of Venezuela’s first lady and former parliamentary president punctured holes in the DEA case on Friday, raising serious doubts concerning the credibility of the witnesses.
During a lengthy cross-examination, defense attorneys John Zach and David Roday obtained confessions that the two informants had abused narcotics and hired prostitutes while working on DEA missions, in addition to concealing vital information from federal authorities.
“I did lie to them,” said the 55-year-old father, identified in the case as CS-1.
The informant confessed that he had paid for two prostitutes during a DEA mission in Venezuela, in addition to bringing an unauthorized individual into the operation. He further admitted that he failed to inform prosecutors of these incidents until a lunch break following his son’s testimony that very day.
The two were arrested early this year and have pleaded guilty to drug charges as well as lying to authorities in exchange for a cooperation agreement.
However, that agreement might now be in jeopardy in light of the latest revelations.
“They [the prosecutors] are extremely unhappy and are going to review everything,” CS-1 stated.
The pair have reportedly received over USD $1.2 million from the US government for their work.
While the case has yet to go to trial, the defense hopes to get the charges thrown out and the nephews’ confessions suppressed, which they claim were obtained under coercion, without duly informing the defendants of their Fifth Amendment rights.