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New trial sought in Cuban baseball player smuggling case

MIAMI (AP) — A sports agent and a baseball trainer convicted in Miami of smuggling Cuban baseball players into the U.S. are seeking a new trial.

A court filing Tuesday by lawyers for Bartolo Hernandez and Julio Estrada contends there were seven crucial errors in their trial, including improper introduction of evidence and several mistakes in how witnesses were permitted to testify. Prosecutors did not immediately file a response.

Hernandez and Estrada were convicted by a jury March 15 after a six-week trial. Prosecutors said Hernandez faces up to 15 years in prison and Estrada — convicted of more smuggling counts — faces a maximum of 35 years behind bars.

Trial evidence showed the pair ran an operation to smuggle Cuban players in return for a cut of their lucrative baseball contracts.

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