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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Romney event in Miami was hosted by convicted cocaine smuggler



Miami New Times:

Today, Mitt Romney is foregoing a Miami political campaign tradition by skipping over Versailles restaurant in Little Havana. Instead, Mittens will be hobnobbing with a convicted cocaine smuggler. The Republican presidential candidate is holding an afternoon rally at Palacios de los Jugos at 7085 Coral Way, which is owned by Reinaldo Bermudez, who served three years in federal prison after pleading guilty in 1999 to one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

Bermudez, AKA "El Guajiro," was a member of 12-person ring that was busted in 1997 for attempting to smuggle more than a ton of yeyo disguised as fish and soap into three South Florida ports. According to Bermudez's indictment, some of his co-conspirators had nicknames straight out of a Hollywood movie like "Ali Baba," "Skeletor," "Buckwheat" and "Stump."

Reached by telephone, Bermudez tells Banana Republican that the Secret Service vetted everything about him when the Romney campaign asked to use his fresh fruit and vegetable stand, one of several he owns throughout Miami-Dade.

"They absolutely knew about my record," Bermudez says. "The Secret Service checked everything. [The conviction] was not a problem. Everybody deserves a second chance." (full story here)

[Last modified: Monday, August 13, 2012 11:09pm]


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