A South Florida man was arrested for his alleged role in a smuggling operation that brought Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig out of Cuba and ultimately to the United States, according to the Associated Press.
Court records show Gilberto Suarez was arrested Wednesday and was scheduled to appear in federal court in a Miami federal court Thursday on a charge of alien smuggling.
Puig, like all Cuban refugees, receive the United States government’s protection under the “Wet Foot, Dry Foot” policy, or Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966, which now allows Cubans to remain in the country permanently once on U.S. soil.
According to those records, Suarez was one of several men who helped pay for Puig's 2012 boat trip from Cuba to Mexico. The initial price for the trip was $250,000 but was raised to $400,000.
Puig, who was the runner-up to the National League Rookie of the Year award last season, ended up signing a seven-year, $42 million contract with the Dodgers.
Puig is batting .290 with 13 home runs and 60 RBI this season for Los Angeles, who are in first place in the National League West.
- Scooby Axson