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Sentencing Delayed For Ex-Venezuela Judge In US Drug Case

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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — A former Venezuelan judge in a U.S. cocaine trafficking case linked to the government of former President Hugo Chavez has had his sentencing postponed.

A sentencing hearing was moved from Friday until Monday for Benny Palmeri-Bacchi, who pleaded guilty in November to charges of extortion, conspiracy to obstruct justice and money laundering conspiracy. Each charge carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence.

Prosecutors say Palmeri-Bacchi conspired with a former Venezuelan Interpol director to help traffickers move Colombian cocaine through Venezuela. The Interpol director and a former Venezuelan military intelligence chief were also indicted but remain in Venezuela.

Among the traffickers Palmeri-Bacchi admitted protecting was Jaime Alberto "Beto" Marin-Zamora, a top member of Colombia's North Valley Cartel. Marin-Zamora was extradited to the U.S. in 2010 and is serving a 16-year prison sentence.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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