Attorneys for former Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, who was anticipated to plead responsible Wednesday to mendacity to federal authorities investigating an unlawful sports-gambling ring, now say they’re exploring a potential protection.
Puig was joined by his attorneys, Keri Axel and Jose Nuno, and his agent, Lisette Carnet, Wednesday on the U.S. District Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. A choose agreed to proceed the listening to till Tuesday.
“We want extra time to evaluate a potential innocence protection,” Axel advised The Occasions after the listening to.
Puig, 31, had beforehand signed an settlement to plead responsible to 1 rely of constructing false statements, which carries a most sentence of 5 years in federal jail, the U.S. legal professional’s workplace for the Central District of California stated. He additionally agreed to pay a high quality of no less than $55,000.
Prosecutors alleged that Puig “made a number of false statements to the brokers that had been materials to the investigation” when federal authorities interviewed him Jan. 27 concerning the playing ring, based on the plea settlement.
After the settlement was unsealed Nov. 14, Axel advised The Occasions that Puig can be eligible for probation and seemed ahead to placing the episode behind him, however within the days since, she stated, proof has come to gentle that’s modified her outlook on the case.
Puig had positioned bets with an unlawful sports-gambling operation run by Wayne Nix, a former minor-league baseball player who lives in Newport Seaside, however he was not charged in reference to collaborating within the ring’s operations. These bets went by way of a 3rd social gathering, a former collegiate baseball participant and personal coach referred to within the plea settlement as “Agent 1,” who positioned and accepted wagers for Nix’s enterprise.
Axel stated she has found a number of messages that Agent 1 and an affiliate of Agent 1 despatched to her shopper.
Agent 1 and the affiliate requested Puig a number of instances to talk about the federal investigation, however he declined, she stated.
Till Axel noticed the messages, she stated in courtroom, she didn’t notice the variety of instances Agent 1 and the affiliate contacted Puig for info on the investigation, the variety of instances Puig refused to inform them concerning the investigation, and the potential that her shopper was entrapped.
Axel advised U.S. District Decide Dolly Gee that she needed time to request and evaluation data held by prosecutors in order that she will adequately advise Puig on whether or not there’s a potential protection — together with the federal authorities’s report of the interview with Puig, handwritten notes of the interview taken by the brokers, and any charging paperwork or plea agreements pertaining to Agent 1 and the affiliate.
Puig didn’t have his personal Spanish-language interpreter or a legal protection legal professional with him throughout the interview, his camp has stated.
Axel stated she confronted a number of challenges in advising her shopper, who’s a Spanish speaker with a third-grade schooling, and who was taking part in baseball in South Korea till he returned to the U.S. final week for his arraignment. Making an attempt to advise Puig on complicated authorized points whereas coping with the language barrier and the time distinction was a major problem, she stated.
Assistant U.S. Atty. Jeff Mitchell, certainly one of two prosecutors engaged on the case, stated that the plea settlement was signed months in the past and that prosecutors have made their proof obtainable to Puig’s protection staff.
The request by Puig’s staff might trigger the plea settlement to be breached, Mitchell stated, although Axel advised the choose that Puig didn’t want to breach his settlement at the moment.
Puig, who defected from Cuba in 2012, grew to become a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2019. Puig final performed for a Main League Baseball staff in 2019. Since then he performed within the Dominican Winter League, the Mexican League and this previous season in South Korea.
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