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A call Thursday to a phone number listed for Pacheco was met with a message saying it wasn’t accepting voice mail. No number for Despaigne was listed.

Over the following year, Puig and Despaigne tried four times unsuccessfully to leave the communist island, according to the affidavit, including one occasion when their boat was intercepted by a U.S. Coast Guard cutter and they were returned to Cuba. Finally, a group of smugglers with a speedboat took them to Isla Mujeres, a fishing village on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula not far from Cancun.

Despaigne said Pacheco and his investors originally planned to pay the smugglers $250,000, but they decided Puig was worth $400,000. The group stayed at a motel for a month in Isla Mujeres while the two sides haggled over the price. Then, the Miami investors found another group of men to take Puig, Despaigne and others to Mexico City.

A few weeks later, Despaigne crossed the border into Texas and traveled to Miami to stay with one of the investors. It was there he learned, according to his affidavit, about the 20 percent Puig promised to pay them and the smugglers’ claims they were still owed money after Puig signed his Dodger contract in June 2012.

After the threat at gunpoint, Despaigne said one of the investors said the smuggler known as “Leo” would be “neutralized.” About a month later, Despaigne was told to look up “Leo” on the Internet using his full name - Yandrys Leon - and he found that the man had been shot to death in Cancun.

“I am concerned that something may happen to me,” Despaigne said in the affidavit, adding that Puig has severed all ties with him.


Associated Press sportswriter Janie McCauley in San Francisco contributed to this report.

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