MIAMI (AP) — A convicted cocaine trafficker whose Miami juice shop was the scene of a Mitt Romney campaign event yesterday says the Secret Service had checked out his background ahead of time, and knew about his conviction.
Court records show that Reinaldo Bermudez pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine in 1999 and served three years in federal prison.
Romney and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio appeared together at the juice shop, each making brief remarks before handing out juices to an excited crowd. Aides to Romney said he was filming a campaign ad there.
Bermudez tells the Miami New Times that there are a lot of people like him in Miami -- "people with money who have had problems with the law." He says he's thankful that everyone in this country has a chance to "re-enter society when we've done something wrong."
The Romney campaign hasn't commented.