The Slatest

Florida Man Who Allegedly Helped Finance Yasiel Puig’s Defection Charged With “Alien Smuggling”

Yasiel Puig.

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

South Florida resident Gilberto Suarez, 40, who allegedly helped finance and organize Los Angeles Dodgers star Yasiel Puig’s defection from Cuba to the United States, has been arrested and charged with “alien smuggling.” From the Associated Press:

The indictment includes few details and only identifies Puig by his initials. But it does seek forfeiture of any money obtained by Suarez from Puig’s $42 million contract as well as just under $3 million in cash, a condominium, a Miami house, a 2014 Mercedes-Benz and a 2013 Porsche.


Puig is believed to have arrived in America via Mexico after a long saga involving smugglers, a drug cartel, lots of cash, and possibly a murder—a saga detailed in this truly insane Los Angeles magazine story, which is well worth reading in full. (Indicative sentence: “Puig’s journey … had been underwritten by a small-time crook in Miami named Raul Pacheco, an air-conditioning repairman and recycler who was on probation for attempted burglary and possession of a fake ID.”) Suarez is named in the story as one of the men who is allegedly receiving a cut of Puig’s U.S. windfall—and who allegedly insinuated that he had helped arrange the murder of a criminal who had attempted to continue to shake Puig down after he had arrived in America.