The Latest: Jury selections in drug trial of 2 Venezuelans

NEW YORK (AP) " The Latest on drug trial of two nephews of Venezuela's first lady (all times local):

5 p.m.

Jury selection has begun in the New York drug trial of two nephews of Venezuela's first lady.

The selection of a dozen jurors to decide whether Efrain Campo and Francisco Flores conspired to import 800 kilograms of cocaine into the United States is expected to end Thursday.

Opening statements are slated for Monday.

The men, nephews of first lady Cilia Flores, have pleaded not guilty. They were arrested in Haiti last November and flown to New York.

Judge Paul Crotty says he'll allow jurors to hear tape recordings of the men talking to U.S. government informants as prosecutors built their case.

Defense attorneys wanted them excluded, saying informants instigated "highly politicized statements."

The statements suggest the men had hoped to generate millions of dollars to help their family oppose enemies before elections.

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12:18 a.m.

Two nephews of Venezuela's first lady are set to go on trial on drug charges in New York City.

Jury selection begins Wednesday for the nephews of first lady Cilia Flores. Twenty-nine-year-old Efrain Campo and 30-year-old Francisco Flores have pleaded not guilty to conspiring to import 800 kilograms of cocaine into the United States. The men were arrested in Haiti last November and flown to New York.

Prosecutors are seeking to introduce evidence suggesting that the men had hoped to generate large amounts of cash through drug deals to help their family oppose enemies " including the United States " before elections last December.

Defense attorneys say recorded conversations between the nephews and confidential informants for the U.S. government contain "highly politicized statements" instigated by the informants. They want them excluded from trial.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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