Former Venezuelan judge sentenced to nearly 7 years in Miami drug case

MIAMI (Reuters) – A former Venezuelan judge was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison in US court in Miami yesterday after being accused of taking bribes from a South American drug cartel boss.

Benny Palmeri-Bacchi pleaded guilty in November to money laundering, extortion and conspiring to obstruct justice.

Prosecutors agreed to seek a lenient sentence for his cooperation with a US push against prominent Venezuelan officials suspected of assisting Colombian drug traffickers.

“I feel very remorseful and I ask for mercy,” he told US Judge Ursula Ungaro in Spanish, speaking through an English translator.