Yasiel Puig’s attorneys discover protection, delay responsible plea

Attorneys for former Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, who was anticipated to plead responsible Wednesday to mendacity to federal authorities investigating an unlawful sports-gambling ring, now say they’re exploring a potential protection.

Puig was joined by his attorneys, Keri Axel and Jose Nuno, and his agent, Lisette Carnet, Wednesday on the U.S. District Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. A choose agreed to proceed the listening to till Tuesday.

“We need more time to assess a possible innocence defense,” Axel advised The Instances after the listening to.

Puig, 31, had beforehand signed an settlement to plead responsible to at least one depend of creating false statements, which carries a most sentence of 5 years in federal jail, the U.S. lawyer’s workplace for the Central District of California stated. He additionally agreed to pay a nice of a minimum of $55,000.

Prosecutors alleged that Puig “made several false statements to the agents that were material to the investigation” when federal authorities interviewed him Jan. 27 concerning the playing ring, in accordance with the plea settlement.

After the settlement was unsealed Nov. 14, Axel advised The Instances that Puig can be eligible for probation and appeared ahead to placing the episode behind him, however within the days since, she stated, proof has come to mild that’s modified her outlook on the case.

Puig had positioned bets with an unlawful sports-gambling operation run by Wayne Nix, a former minor-league baseball participant who lives in Newport Seaside, however he was not charged in reference to participating within the ring’s operations. These bets went by a 3rd social gathering, a former collegiate baseball participant and personal coach referred to within the plea settlement as “Agent 1,” who positioned and accepted wagers for Nix’s enterprise.

Axel stated she has found a number of messages that Agent 1 and an affiliate of Agent 1 despatched to her shopper.

Agent 1 and the affiliate requested Puig a number of occasions to discuss the federal investigation, however he declined, she stated.

Till Axel noticed the messages, she stated in courtroom, she didn’t notice the variety of occasions Agent 1 and the affiliate contacted Puig for info on the investigation, the variety of occasions Puig refused to inform them concerning the investigation, and the potential that her shopper was entrapped.

Axel advised U.S. District Choose Dolly Gee that she wished time to request and evaluate information held by prosecutors in order that she will adequately advise Puig on whether or not there’s a potential protection — together with the federal authorities’s report of the interview with Puig, handwritten notes of the interview taken by the brokers, and any charging paperwork or plea agreements pertaining to Agent 1 and the affiliate.

Puig didn’t have his personal Spanish-language interpreter or a legal protection lawyer with him throughout the interview, his camp has stated.

Axel stated she confronted a number of challenges in advising her shopper, who’s a Spanish speaker with a third-grade schooling, and who was enjoying baseball in South Korea till he returned to the U.S. final week for his arraignment. Making an attempt to advise Puig on complicated authorized points whereas coping with the language barrier and the time distinction was a big problem, she stated.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Jeff Mitchell, considered one of two prosecutors engaged on the case, stated that the plea settlement was signed months in the past and that prosecutors have made their proof out there to Puig’s protection crew.

The request by Puig’s crew might trigger the plea settlement to be breached, Mitchell stated, although Axel advised the choose that Puig didn’t want to breach his settlement right now.

Puig, who defected from Cuba in 2012, turned a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2019. Puig final performed for a Main League Baseball crew in 2019. Since then he performed within the Dominican Winter League, the Mexican League and this previous season in South Korea.