A former MLB All-Star facing criminal charges relating to illegal betting believes that he has fallen victim to racial bias. Yasiel Puig is facing two criminal charges for allegedly placing sports bets through an illegal gambling operation in 2019.
Puig originally pled guilty to making false statements to federal law enforcement in November last year. He changed this to a not-guilty plea in December. Among the reasons given for the change of heart were Puig’s mental health issues at the time of the interview and the fact that none of his legal counsel were present during.
Puig’s legal team has now asked the judge to order federal authorities to hand over records relating to the prosecution team’s investigative patterns. They allege that there was clear racial bias in this case and that the requested documents could help show “selective prosecution” and lead to a dismissal.
charged, reprimanded, and made an example of more than the non-Black men”
Crump explained how Puig “was just a witness, and he was charged, reprimanded, and made an example of more than the non-Black men who were the actual targets of investigation.”
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, a member of Puig’s team, highlighted that his client was hit with criminal charges after just a single interview. He compared this to how the authorities treated others who were actually part of the illegal gambling operation, claiming they got away with destroying evidence and lying.