KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) -A California sports agent was sentenced to five years in prison for smuggling five Cuban baseball players into the United States.
District Judge K. Michael Moore issued the mandatory minimum sentence Monday to agent Gustavo ``Gus'' Dominguez.
Defense attorney J. Stephen Salter said Moore allowed Dominguez to serve his sentence in a ``camp-type'' facility near his home and participate in a drug and alcohol program to combat a drinking problem he developed during the trial.
Federal prosecutors believe the 48-year-old Dominguez helped organize two smuggling trips in 2004. The first failed but the second succeeded and ballplayers reached Big Pine Key.
Dominguez was charged with nearly two dozen federal crimes, including conspiracy, smuggling, transporting and harboring. He was convicted in April and had faced more than 200 years in federal prison, Salter said.
``He's doing well, under the circumstances,'' Salter said. ``He has the full support of his family, and a lot of friends, and friends in baseball.''
More than a dozen family members, friends and members of the sports industry wrote to the judge on behalf of Dominguez, including Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax, Washington Nationals pitcher Jason Simontacchi and Chicago Cubs catcher Henry Blanco.
``I have always considered Gus to be a person of strong character and high moral principles,'' Koufax wrote. ``He has an unshakable love for his culture and does his best to serve as a role model for players he represents, especially Latin players.''
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