NY drug trial starts for two nephews of Venezuela’s first lady

The drug trafficking trial of two nephews of Cilia Flores, Venezuela's first lady, got under way in Manhattan Tuesday, with the leftist government in Caracas saying they were essentially framed.

Efrain Antonio Campo Flores, 30, and Francisco Flores de Freitas, 31, were arrested in Haiti in November and flown to New York by US Drug Enforcement Administration agents.

The men have denied charges that they plotted to smuggle 800 kilos (1,764 pounds) of cocaine into the United States and are also being accused of taking part in meetings to plan a shipment of cocaine to the United States via Honduras.

Prosecutor Emil Bove argued that the men believed they were powerful because they are close to Maduro. If convicted they face up to life in prison.