Two nephews of Venezuela’s powerful first lady have pleaded not guilty in a New York courtroom to U.S. cocaine-smuggling charges.
Francisco Flores and Efrain Campo were arrested last month in Haiti and brought to the United States. They are the nephews of Venezuelan first lady Cilia Flores. Both are held without bail.
Campo appeared to be in tears as he waited for the brief hearing at Manhattan federal court before US District Judge Paul Crotty.
When asked about Campo’s appearance, his attorney Kafahni Nkrumah said: “He’s nervous. He’s terrified.”
“He’s a young man who’s been forcibly detained in our country facing very serious drug charges, charges that could get him a significant amount of time in prison,” Nkrumah said. “So he’s understandably very, very nervous.”
The pair are accused of trying to smuggle some 800 kilograms of cocaine into the U.S.
The next hearing in the case was set for February 29.