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Venezuelan president's nephews indicted in U.S. on drug charges

A court officer stands outside U.S. Federal Court, where two nephews of Venezuela's powerful first lady are facing arraignment after being arrested in Haiti, Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015, in New York. An indictment unsealed on Thursday accuses Efrain Campos and Francisco Flores of conspiring to smuggle cocaine into the United States. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

A court officer stands outside U.S. Federal Court, where two nephews of Venezuela's powerful first lady are facing arraignment after being arrested in Haiti, Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015, in New York. An indictment unsealed on Thursday accuses Efrain Campos and Francisco Flores of conspiring to smuggle cocaine into the United States. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Two nephews of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and his wife Cilia Flores have been indicted on conspiring to import cocaine, through Honduras, into the United States.

According to an unsealed federal indictment, both men participated in meetings in Venezuela about plans to ship cocaine to the U.S. through the gang-infested Central American country. Efrain Antonio Campos Flores and Francisco Flores de Freites are both blood nephews of the first lady.

Both men are scheduled to appear before a federal judge in New York City on Thursday. They were arrested in Haiti on Tuesday night as part of a sting operation coordinated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

During the arrest, Campos claimed to be the son of Flores and stepson of President Nicolas Maduro, said former DEA official Michael Vigil to the Associated Press. Campos reportedly was raised by the couple and grew up in the Maduro household.

Vigil said he was briefed by U.S. authorities about the undercover operation that resulted in the arrests.

The men allegedly were in the process of smuggling cocaine – just under a ton, roughly about 1,700 lbs. – into the United States when they were arrested in Port-au-Prince, where their plane arrived, and brought by authorities to New York.

The young men reportedly told the DEA that they were acting in connection with Diosdado Cabello, speaker of the National Assembly, as well as with a governor, Tarck el Aissami, who is the former Venezuelan Minister of the Interior.

They said that the high-ranking officials had helped with the drug shipment.

Cabello, Venezuela’s second most powerful figure, has been a focus of U.S. drug-trafficking investigation involving top members of the Venezuelan government.

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Elizabeth Llorente is Senior Reporter for FoxNews.com, and can be reached at Elizabeth.Llorente@Foxnews.com. Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Llorente.

 

Bryan Llenas currently serves as a New York-based correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC). Click here for more information on Bryan Llenas. Follow him on Twitter @BryanLlenas.