Zulueta Enters Guilty Plea, Oakes Asks To Change Plea In Federal Drugs Case

Trainer Marcos Zulueta changed his plea from not guilty to guilty to a charge of drug adulteration and misbranding with intent to defraud during a hearing on Oct. 15. U.S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil presided over the hearing, and set a sentencing date for Feb. 24 for the trainer, whose operation was based in the Mid-Atlantic.

Zulueta faces a maximum of three years in federal prison and fines of up to $100,000, in addition to a forfeiture of more than $47,000. Forfeiture amounts in this federal case have typically been based on the amount of financial gain prosecutors believe a defendant accrued from a crime.

According to a report by The Blood-Horse’s Bob Kieckhefer, Zulueta did not provide many details on his crimes beyond admitting to administering drugs to racehorses without prescriptions at Parx. Zulueta said he got the substances from co-defendant Ross Cohen.

Read more at The Blood-Horse

In other news related to the federal adulteration and misbranding case, former Standardbred trainer and co-defendant Christopher Oakes requested a plea change hearing this week, which seems likely to result in his changing his plea from not guilty to guilty.

The change would make Oakes the ninth of more than two dozen defendants named in the March 2020 indictments to switch from a not guilty to a guilty plea, according to the Thoroughbred Daily News.

Oakes was allegedly overheard on wire taps speaking to Jorge Navarro about the distribution and use of performance-enhancing drugs to Thoroughbreds. Specifically, the TDN reported that Oakes and Navarro were overheard making plans to administer performance-enhancing substances to X Y Jet, who later died suddenly.

Navarro changed his plea from not guilty to guilty this summer, but has not yet been sentenced.

The post Zulueta Enters Guilty Plea, Oakes Asks To Change Plea In Federal Drugs Case appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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