20:09 GMT13 April 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Florida resident Victor Mones Coro has been sentenced to more than 4.5 years in prison for illegally chartering flights for Venezuelan minister Tareck Zaidan El Aissami Maddah, the Justice Department said in a press release.

    "A Florida man was sentenced today to 55 months in prison for his connection with a scheme to provide private charter flights to two prominent members of former Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s inner circle. He will also pay $250,000 in fines and undergo two years of supervised release as part of the sentence," the release said on Wednesday.

    El Aissami, who previously served as Venezuela's vice president, was designated as a drug trafficker by the US Treasury Department in 2017.

    In November 2019, Mones Coro pleaded guilty to violating US drug trafficking sanctions.

    For more than two years beginning in February 2017, Mones Coro conspired to evade the sanctions by providing travel services, including private jet charters, to El Aissami and Venezuelan businessman Samark Jose Lopez Bello, as well as their relatives and associates. Mones Coro's US-based charter company flew El Aissami, Lopez Bello, and others around the world, including to Russia and Turkey.

    In 2018, Mones Coro's company arranged up to 25 domestic Venezuelan flights for President Nicolas Maduro's reelection campaign.

    El Aissami and Lopez Bello paid for these services at times through intermediaries who delivered bulk cash in Venezuela.

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    Tags:
    Florida, sanctions, US sanctions on Venezuela, Venezuela, US Justice Department, Justice Department, USA, US
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