Venezuela sentences former Green Berets to 20 years in prison for failed coup d'état | TheHill
A Venezuelan court has sentenced two former Green Berets to 20 years in prison for their roles in a failed beach attack aimed at overthrowing President Nicolás Maduro, the country's attorney general announced Friday.
The two former U.S. Special Forces — Luke Denman, 34, and Airan Berry,42 — admitted to “to having committed crimes of conspiracy, association, illicit trafficking of weapons of war and terrorism,” Venezuela’s top prosecutor, Tarek William Saab, announced on Twitter on Friday.
“THEY ADMITTED THEIR RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FACTS,” Venezuela’s chief prosecutor, Tarek William Saab, wrote in a Twitter post. No further details were shared by the Venezuelan government.
The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.
The men's sentencing come amid hostility between Washington and Caracas. Last year the Trump administration threw its support behind opposition leader Juan Guaido.
“Operation Gideon” was an attempted capture of Maduro, the country's socialist president for whom the U.S. Department of Justice is offering $15 million. The operation was foiled by Venezuelan and Cuban security forces.
Denman and Berry were reportedly involved in training dozens of Venezuelan military defectors in rudimentary camps in Colombia, who at the time of their arrest were carrying U.S. passports and identification cards from Silvercorp, a Florida-based private security company owned by Jordan Goudreau, another Green Beret.
A top Gaido advisor resigned in May over his reported involvement in the attempted coup after media reports alleged he paid at least $50,000 to Silvercorp.
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