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Would You Like a Cuban Cigar With That Pitcher?

Americans have been smuggling Cuban items into the country since the formation of the Cuban Embargo. The latest item: professional baseball players.  Gustavo “Gus” Dominguez has been charged for paying aides to illegally bring Cuban players to California with the end goal being that they get signed by MLB teams [Feds charge agent with smuggling Cuban players to U.S.].

Gus Dominguez is no stranger to the business that he is operating.  As a former deportee of Cuba himself, Dominguez was once a part of the Yankees and Red Sox organizations.  He currently serves as an agent for Total Sports International, which is based in California. He may have to take leave very soon.

According to The Miami Herald:

Dominguez, Batista, and Valdez are accused of transporting, concealing and harboring from detection the illegal aliens.

The alien smuggling conspiracy carries a maximum penalty of 5 years’ imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. The assault of a federal officer carries a maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000.

The alien smuggling, transporting of aliens, harboring, and concealing aliens charges each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000.

Apparently, Dominguez is respected within the Sports Agent community and represents over 50 baseball players [Valley sports agent indicted in scheme].  Players, make sure you sign with the right guy/girl!

The gentlemen over at Sports Law Blog conclude that those interested in sports law (Sports Agents included) should read up on immigration law before entering the profession.  I concur.

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.