A Miami juice shop where Mitt Romney held an event on Monday and where he planned to shoot a campaign ad is owned by a convicted cocaine trafficker, the Associated Press reported. The Romney campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Romney appeared at El Palacio de los Jugos, which is owned by Reinaldo Bermudez. The AP said court records show that Bermudez pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine in 1999 and served three years in federal prison.
Bermudez was present during Romney's appearance at the juice shop, where both Romney and Sen.Marco Rubio passed out juices after making remarks. Aides said that Romney also was planning to film a commercial at the shop.
In media reports in November 1997, the AP said, Bermudez was identified as one of 12 people accused in a Colombian drug-smuggling operation. The arrests followed a seven-month investigation led by the FBI and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Agents seized about 2,850 pounds of cocaine at three South Florida ports over several months.