The Wall Street Journal confirms the seismic story that’s been lighting up the social media rumor mill all day:

U.S. agents have arrested two relatives of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on charges they conspired to transport 800 kilograms of cocaine to the U.S., according to two people familiar with the matter, a potentially explosive incident that comes amid U.S. accusations that the top echelon of Venezuela’s government is involved in the narcotics trade.

The two men, Efraín Antonio Campo Flores and Francisco Flores de Freitas, were first arrested in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Tuesday by local police, turned over to U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents and flown the same day to New York in a DEA jet, these people said. The two were scheduled to go before a federal judge in New York on Thursday, they said. A spokesman for the federal district court declined to comment.

The two men are identified in a U.S. document as nephews of Mr. Maduro’s wife, Cilia Flores.One of the men, Mr. Campo Flores, 29 years old, identified himself on the DEA plane as a stepson of the president, according to the people familiar with the matter, having been raised by Ms. Flores after the death of her sister.

It’s all true, folks.

76 COMMENTS

  1. these two will not be negotiated over. They will be tried and convicted. They are looking at 30 years each. There are more indictments in the works. A lot more.

  2. Wouldn’t this actually help Maduro domestically? Now he can claim the gringos are out to get him blah blah blah. And even if it doesn’t help, people within Venezuela couldn’t care less if a couple of his nephews are drug traffickers..

    • I don’t think the DEA is doing this to move the Venezuelan public opinion one way or the other. The whole idea is to send very clear signals to the rest of the bolivarian mafia and those who do not directly partake in it, but stand silently in front of it all. The main goal is to incentivize desertion

      • So they start culling the Chavista narco-herd by putting a few into jail…

        You see the first signs of hardcore Chavistas breaking ranks like a-hole Nieves… (it would be great to see a Carreno conversion).

        You see a voting pattern that is going to give you a historical thumping.

        You see an ineffectual hijos de chavez leading and just letting the whole thing implode.

        You know the last guy to bolt is going to be holding the bag…

        I think we could see a Chavista stampede in the offing.

    • If the polls are to be believed, then it should be more likely that people won’t care what happens to Maduro.
      I’d rather see the DEA busting government-related folks like these two pelagatos than no one at all.

    • No, no. Clearly this is the reason for the CONATEL ruling regarding La Reina Del Sur.

      Surely someone in the bureaucracy has Netflix and has seen Narcos…..

  3. I wonder how this will be taken in Venezuela.

    Will it be a rallying cry for Chavistas to start with their “el imperio” haka and get a pity bounce in their polling numbers? Or will it be the ‘straw that breaks the camel’s back’ pushing the vote over the super-majority line?

    Bad news just keeps piling up on them and they seem ‘como si nada’ (thanks for the coverage on this matter CC). I wonder if their well developed skill of ‘cara-de-tablismo’ can just take it. Of course, if one reads Aporrea one sees that logic, fairness and common sense is not something they cultivate hence ‘cara-de-tablismo’ comes naturally.

  4. De panas q los carajos son inutiles. Ni para esta vaina sirven.

    Que necesidad de meterse a narcos tenian ese par de malandros? Que barbaridad

  5. There’s tons of details to unravel about this. But my main question at this point is how much did the Hatian government cooperate with the U.S. to set up this sting operation and extradite the Floreses? Let’s remember that this was the same Hatian government who brokered a clandestine meeting between Thomas Shannon and Diosdado Cabello a few months ago, and to whom Venezuela also gave all this money for electoral observance projects.

    • Reminiscent of Ghana seizing that Argentine navy ship and sending it to the hedge funds. Venezuela is broke, Uncle Sam is not. Connect the dots.

      The best part is yet to come, though: when the arrested start to sing. Hahahahha!

    • The sting operation started in Honduras, where the the two approached an undercover DEA agent to help with receiving the shipment. The whole thing is video taped. From there, they were able to observe the whole process. I am not sure about why they decided to apprehend them in Haiti instead of the U.S. It is possible that they were not planning on traveling with the shipment all the way to the States. The actual arrest was made by Haitian police, but the extradition was already done in advance, so they were immediately handed over to the DEA and flown to the U.S. The DEA was not going to make the same mistakes they made with Carvajal in Aruba. I am fairly certain that the extradition was processed at a lower level in the Haitian government, and the people processing the extradition may not have even known who the suspects were. Had the DEA given Venezuela more time to pressure Haiti diplomatically or buy them off, the result may have been the same as it was in Aruba.

  6. The maximum sentence in the U.S. for this crime is life imprisonment. Given that the DEA has audio and videotaped the entire transaction, I hunk forty years in jail is a likely outcome. It is my understanding that SIGNIFICANT cooperation in providing evidence against others could reduce this sentence to ten years or so.

    They would need to implicate someone truly important if they want to spend any time outside prison before they die.

  7. The answer will probably be “We don’t know these people and they paid them millions of dollars to say bad things about us” then say it’s all a conspiracy by the empire to overthrow the government. Forgot the CIA too.

    • Pretty insane, actually. If they were actively involved in the smuggling of drugs, and by that I mean in leaving Venezuela to partake in that operation in whatever capacity, they are very stupid. Leave that to your henchmen.

  8. Incredibly stupid and illogical. Makes no sense to take such risks potentially exposing the ” family”. I’m not sure if the Colombian narcos are completely pissed off or maybe indicating – ” You could be next.

      • 800 kilos is literally almost a ton of cocaine. 1800 pounds of coke.

        They’d need a lot of flunkies for that!

        I think it’s not quite clear to most people that is like a street price of $112 million of coke.

        $112 billion in Bolivares, lol

    • According to the Fox News article (yeah, I know… not the best of sources) they actually implicated Godgiven & Tareck el Aissami:

      “They told the DEA that they were acting in connection with Diosdado Cabello, speaker of the National Assembly, as well as with a governor, Tarck el Aissami, who is the former Venezuelan Minister of the Interior.

      They said that the high-ranking officials had helped with the drug shipment.”

      I am not sure if when they said this they were speaking to DEA undercover agent, or if this was with the DEA agents after they were arrested.

      If true, this would counter the theory that it is a internal ploy on the part of DC.

      In any case, I am totally looking forward to seeing the reaction from the regime. I am a bit concerned though about how this might affect 6D.

  9. This plays real well into Maduro’s hands, he will be the “victima”, again, and proclaim the U.S. is declaring war, blah, blah. Then cancel, sabotage 6D. Perfect.

    • My concern as well. The regime will throw a major tantrum to coincide with its election shenanigans. Could the DEA not have waited a month? Most people will interpret this as gringo imperialist meddling.

  10. This story and others about political prisoners is having an impact here in the U.S. making it difficult for the media and the left to defend the Chavistas and bringing Venezuela closer to a post Chavista government.I pray that this will occur peacefully.

  11. This is just the tip of the iceberg…total narco government, money laundering, offshore accounts with all the stolen petro dollars, etc. This government makes Escobar and Noriega look like babes in the woods. These two guys will be singing like crazy for reduced sentences. Hopefully, this is the beginning of the end for this narco regime.

  12. FOX news is largely jive, but this is real. The DEA (a little bird told me) is not so much interested in sticking these dorks in jail for 40 years as they are getting them to sing about the whole Chavista narco culture we keep hearing about but lack any direct proof to seal the deal on the whole ship of fools. We’ll see how deeply this one gets buried in the Ven press. God-Given has been a target for some time. Seems like the noose is tightening.

  13. Por lo menos Maduro y Cilia pueden aprovechar la visita a NY a la ONU, e ir a ver a los sobrinos. Les llevarán chocolates Savoy y un pote de chicha El Chichero.

  14. It doesn’t seem so clear to me that Maduro and his family are this stupid. They had to be either over confident (unlikely) or desperate (more likely, but why?).

  15. […] Among the recent group of retirees, the most notable is Luisa Estella Morales, who (in)famously ruled that the presidential swear-in is just a formality, and enabled Maduro to simultaneously be Chavez’s Vice President, interim President, and presidential candidate in 2013. As fate would have it, her nephew just happened to be caught in fraganti trafficking cocaine not long ago. Morales has long held the belief that the separation of powers weakens the state, so it makes perfect sense that her family joined the Executive in its national crusade for promoting a Narcostate. […]

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