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Former Dodger Is Acquitted of Drug Conspiracy Charges

Jurisprudence: Guerrero found not guilty after low IQ defense is used.

June 07, 2000|From Associated Press

MIAMI — Former Dodger Pedro Guerrero was acquitted of drug conspiracy charges Tuesday, after his attorney argued that his low IQ prevented him from understanding that he had agreed to a drug deal.

Federal prosecutors argued that Guerrero, who also played for the St. Louis Cardinals, told an undercover agent and an informant that he would guarantee payment for a $200,000 cocaine shipment.

But Guerrero's attorney, Milton Hirsch, told the jury that the five-time National League all-star was duped by his friend, Adan "Tony" Cruz.

"He really never understood that he was being asked to involve himself in a drug deal," Hirsch said.

The jury acquitted Guerrero after four hours of deliberation.

Guerrero, 43, retired from baseball in 1992. Hirsch said Guerrero dropped out of sixth grade in his native Dominican Republic, has an IQ of 70, can't perform simple tasks such as writing a check or making a bed, and receives a small weekly allowance from his wife.

Another friend of Cruz's, Lary Mercedes, was acquitted of conspiracy to purchase drugs Tuesday.

Cruz, who was to receive the drug shipment, pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.

Cruz and Guerrero, a resident of Miami, met with two informants and undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agent Nestor La Serna at a Miami restaurant on Sept. 29.

One informant told Guerrero that he was going to sell Cruz 15 "little animals," and that he understood Guerrero would guarantee payment.

Cruz was arrested when undercover agents delivered the sham cocaine to him at a supermarket near Guerrero's house. Guerrero and Mercedes were then arrested at Guerrero's home.

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