KEY WEST, Fla. -- A federal judge
sentenced U.S. sports agent Gustavo "Gus" Dominguez to five
years in prison on Monday for smuggling potential Major League Baseball players out of Cuba.
U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore ordered the prison
term for Dominguez, the 48-year-old co-founder of
California-based Total Sports International Inc.
Dominguez, who has represented dozens of Cuban defectors
and other major league players, was convicted in April of
smuggling five prospects out of Cuba to the Florida Keys and
then on to California, where he shopped them to potential
The case was believed to be the first directly linking
smuggling with the business of baseball, which is Cuba's
national sport as well as the traditional U.S. national
In addition to five years behind bars, the judge ordered
Dominguez to serve three years probation and to pay a $2,100
Defense attorneys J. Stephen Salter and Ben Kuehne,
pleading for leniency, had earlier cited scores of letters,
including one written by Hall of Fame pitching great Sandy
Koufax, supporting Dominguez.
"I have always considered Gus to be a person of strong
character and high moral principles. He has an unshakable love
for his culture and does his best to serve as a role model to
the players he represents, especially Latin players," Koufax
wrote to Moore.