Bail hearing for sports agent in Cuban player smuggling case

MIAMI (AP) A Florida-based sports agent has pleaded not guilty to charges of involvement in a conspiracy to illegally smuggle Cuban baseball players into the U.S.

A Miami federal magistrate judge on Monday also approved $300,000 bail allowing Bart Hernandez to be released pending trial. He is charged in a two-count indictment involving the smuggling from Cuba of Seattle Mariners outfielder Leonys Martin, who previously played for the Texas Rangers.

The bail agreement with prosecutors also permits Hernandez to travel for agent work.

Hernandez works for Praver Shapiro Sports Management, which in November announced a joint venture with Magnus Media run by entertainer Marc Antony.

Martin was the key player in an earlier indictment charging other four people with conspiring to illegally smuggle ballplayers and hundreds of other people from Cuba.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.