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|Wednesday, June 7|
|Guerrero acquitted of drug charges|
|MIAMI -- Former major leaguer Pedro Guerrero was acquitted
of drug conspiracy charges Tuesday, after his attorney argued that
his low IQ prevented him from understanding that he had agreed to a
Federal prosecutors argued that Guerrero, who played for the Los
Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals, told an undercover agent
and an informant that he would guarantee payment for a $200,000
But Guerrero's lawyer, Milton Hirsch, told the jury that the
four-time National League All-Star and co-MVP of the 1981 World
Series was duped by his friend, Adan "Tony" Cruz.
"He really never understood that he was being asked to involve
himself in a drug deal," Hirsch said.
The jury acquitted Guerrero after four hours of deliberation.
Guerrero, 43, retired from baseball in 1992. Hirsch said
Guerrero dropped out of sixth grade in his native Dominican
Republic, and has an IQ of 70. The Miami resident can not perform
simple tasks, such as writing a check or making a bed, and receives
a small weekly allowance from his wife, Hirsch said.
Another friend of Cruz's, Lary Mercedes, was acquitted of
conspiracy to purchase drugs on Tuesday.
Cruz, who was to receive the drug shipment, pleaded guilty and
is awaiting sentencing.
Cruz and Guerrero met with two informants and undercover Drug
Enforcement Administration agent Nestor La Serna at a Miami
restaurant Sept. 29.
One informant, who was wearing a hidden recording device, told
Guerrero that he was going to sell Cruz 15 "little animals," and
that he understood Guerrero would guarantee payment.
"If he doesn't show up, I'll take care of that," Guerrero
The next day, according to evidence presented at trial, the
informant told Guerrero on the phone that the cocaine was to be
delivered shortly and "you're on the hook if (Cruz) doesn't pay."
"Fine, fine, OK, no problem," Guerrero allegedly replied.
Cruz was arrested when undercover agents delivered the sham
cocaine to him at a supermarket near Guerrero's house. Guerrero and
Mercedes were then arrested at the former ballplayer's home.|
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