U.S. District Judge James Cohn upheld another judges ruling denying bail for Santiago Alvarez and Osvaldo Mitat. The two are charged with illegal possession of machine guns, assault rifles, a silencer, grenades, a grenade launcher, detonation devices, and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Some of the weapons had serial numbers erased.
Alvarez and Mitat have been charged with storing the firearms in a Broward County apartment complex owned by Alvarez, a wealthy real estate developer here who came to the United States from Cuba in 1959, soon after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution.
Both men, who were arrested in November, pleaded not guilty to the charges in Miami federal court December 13.
In May, Alvarez helped Luis Posada Carriles, a CIA-trained mass murderer, emerge from hiding before his arrest for entering the country illegally.
Posada Carriles was arrested in Miami in May and is being held in El Paso, Texas, awaiting an immigration judges ruling on whether he will be deported. In October, an immigration judge in El Paso ruled that he will not be extradited to Venezuela. Cuban-born Posada Carriles is a naturalized Venezuelan citizen who is wanted by both the Cuban and Venezuelan governments for planning the bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people in 1976, and a string of hotel bombings in Havana in 1997-98. He has a long record of carrying out violent activity against the Cuban Revolution. Posada Carriles escaped a Venezuelan prison in 1985 while awaiting trial. The Venezuelan government has petitioned for his extradition.
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