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Marlins SS Hechavarria admits lying in Cuban smuggling probe

By CURT ANDERSON  -  The Associated Press

MIAMI (AP) Miami Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria has told a federal jury he lied to investigators about knowing a key figure in an alleged Cuban ballplayer smuggling network linked to a Florida sports agent and a trainer.

Hechavarria testified Friday in the Miami trial of agent Bartolo Hernandez and trainer Julio Estrada, who are accused of conspiracy and alien smuggling. Hechavarria admitted lying to federal agents about knowing a man who helped organize smuggling trips and obtain player documents.

Hechavarria told jurors he didn't want to be a snitch. He later reached a deal with the Justice Department to avoid charges if he testified truthfully.

Hechavarria signed a $10 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays after leaving Cuba in 2010. He was traded to the Marlins in 2012.

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