Updated 08:03 PM EST, Wed, Jan 20, 2021

Venezuela News: Drugs Found in Dominican Home of President Nicolás Maduro’s Arrested Nephew

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Dominican security officials found 80 kilos (176 lbs.) of cocaine at the home of Franqui Francisco Flores-de Freitas, nephew of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and First Lady Cilia Flores.

The news was reported by television channel CDN, according to Fox News Latino. A search on Friday revealed the cocaine at the Dominican home of Flores-de Freitas, who is currently held in a jail in the U.S. for drug trafficking charges. A drug cache, which included 10 kilos (22 lbs.) of heroin, was also previously discovered in the Bahamas under Flores-de Freitas' name

CDN added that the operation was conducted with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Fox News Latino noted.

Last Monday, Dominican drug agency, DNCD, said that it had "seized 54 packs of a white substance, presumably cocaine or heroin, on the same luxury yacht in La Romana, and had detained six people in the case, but did not release their identities nor connect them with the Flores family," the news outlet further reported.

Flores-de Freitas and Efrain Antonio Campo-Flores were arrested in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and flown to New York last week for smuggling cocaine approximately about 1,700 lbs. into the U.S., Reuters reported.

Spanish news outlet ABC wrote that the men told the DEA that their operation also involved Diosdado Cabello, speaker of the National Assembly, and Governor Tarck el Aissami, who is the former Venezuelan Minister of the Interior. The two claimed that these high-ranking officials helped the passage of the drugs.

Flores-de Freitas, 30, and Efrain Antonio Campo-Flores, 29, were charged with one count of narcotics conspiracy filed in Manhattan's federal court, Business Insider reported. The indictment claimed that in October the two took part in meetings in Venezuela about a shipment of cocaine to be transported to the U.S. through Honduras.

According to the Latin American Herald Tribune, the two is being held without bail in a New York federal prison while waiting for their next court appearance on drug trafficking charges scheduled on Nov. 18. They are expected to plead guilty or not guilty in the next court hearing.

A communique from district attorney Preet Bharara said that the duo is facing a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted, Latin American Herald Tribune added.

Members of the U.S. Congress said that the recent arrests of Maduro and Flores' nephews are proof of his administration's corruption.

"The level of corruption and impunity has reached the highest circles of power there and I'm pleased it is now getting international scrutiny," said Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as quoted in a separate report from Fox News Latino.

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