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Duo accused of smuggling

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MIAMI — Two men were arrested on charges of smuggling an immigrant from Cuba and arranging to exchange him for $8,000.

Alexis Gonzalez Hernandez and Eliecer Lara Salado, an escaped federal prisoner, were charged Tuesday with alien smuggling after making the deal with an undercover agent, officials said.

The family of Rogelio Garcia told authorities that the accused smugglers contacted them after transporting Garcia from Cuba last week. They were told that Garcia would be harmed or returned to Cuba if they did not pay the money, officials said.

On Monday, an Immigration and Naturalization Service agent met with Gonzalez and showed him the cash, officials said. Lara then brought Garcia to a second meeting place, and the men were arrested, they said.

Federal investigators believe Gonzalez and Lara brought Garcia and other immigrants into the country around Saturday.

The men were being held without bond in Miami.