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Brazil judge sentences Pele's son to 33 years

By Adriana Gomez Licon

SAO PAULO (AP) - A Brazilian judge sentenced the son of soccer legend Pele to 33 years in prison after finding him guilty of laundering money for a drug gang.

Judge Suzana Pereira said Monday that Edson Cholbi do Nascimento must surrender his passport to the court this week. She said the 43-year-old can remain free as he appeals, which can take years in Brazil.

"The process is still open. He can still appeal and have another court review the case," Pereira said.

Pereira said she couldn't reveal many details about last week's ruling because both parties agreed to handle the case privately. But she said she found enough proof to convict Do Nascimento.

The defendant's lawyer could not be reached for comment. Do Nascimento previously denied the charges, although he said he had used drugs out of curiosity after he quit professional soccer. He spent six months in a maximum-security prison in 2005 after being arrested with 50 others in a sweep aimed at a gang in the port city of Santos. Prosecutors said he was associated with the criminal group.

Pele is considered the best soccer player ever and in Brazil he is hailed as a national hero. He is currently in the spotlight as the country makes final preparations to host the World Cup in 10 days.

His personal adviser, Jose Fornos Rodrigues, said the sports star was traveling in China and had no comment on the case.

Known as Edinho, Pele's son played as a goalkeeper and is now a coach for the Santos professional soccer team, where his father rose to fame in the 1950s. The club said it would not comment, calling the case a personal matter for Edinho.

It wasn't his first run-in with the law. He was charged in early 1990s with taking part in a high-speed race where the other car hit and killed a motorcyclist. He was sentenced for manslaughter years later and then acquitted in 2005.

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Linda June 02 2014 at 6:48 PM

Yes, I feel bad for Pele. Another privileged brat runs amok. It gets old.

Flag Reply +36 rate up
4 replies
r1234598760 June 02 2014 at 7:16 PM

The judge needs a hand shake,He didnt give a rats but who this guy was.

Flag Reply +27 rate up
9 replies
Gina June 02 2014 at 7:21 PM

What shame he has brought to his father and family. So many poor children in that country would have loved to have had the privieges he had.

Flag Reply +20 rate up
3 replies
derrickh212 June 02 2014 at 7:30 PM

I've always liked Pele, I hope the best for him and his Family. But, ya gotta discipline your Children or somebody else will!!!!!

Flag Reply +20 rate up
6 replies
telurico June 02 2014 at 6:35 PM

Sorry, Pele.

Flag Reply +18 rate up
1 reply
David S. telurico June 02 2014 at 7:22 PM

I'll be honest: I did not even know Pele was still alive. No doubt heartbreaking to see your son descend into criminal behavior, and throw his life away.

Flag Reply +20 rate up
3 replies
ChingOW Mango June 03 2014 at 12:09 AM

Parents are always blamed for things their children do. Anyone who has had children know that no matter how much you love them and teach them right from wrong there will come a time when they think for themselves and make their own choice. This being said - I feel so bad for Pele. I hope God will give him the strength to go through this.

Flag Reply +12 rate up
1 reply
jfmurr3 ChingOW Mango June 03 2014 at 9:01 AM


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flexireal June 02 2014 at 11:22 PM

PELE and ALI two super star legend from the same time .

Flag Reply +4 rate up
1 reply
TheraRX flexireal June 03 2014 at 12:01 AM

Funny you would say that. I have a photo in my office of Ali and Pele hugging each other, both at the zenith of their careers. The photo is beautiful, both share a very special gracefulness in their sport-during their day.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
1 reply
ChingOW Mango TheraRX June 03 2014 at 12:14 AM

Nice story - thanks for sharing!

Flag +3 rate up
LewTag June 02 2014 at 9:41 PM

Just goes to show that parents cannot control the lives of their offspring....very few actually surpass their celebrity parents....or even equal them...so it must all be god's will or it would be different...ergo theofatalism...look it up...www.theofatalism.org

Flag Reply +4 rate up
sirchazzzzy777 June 03 2014 at 1:14 AM

Brother Pele , I hope it all works itself out for you !

Flag Reply +1 rate up
denisepowell10 June 03 2014 at 12:10 AM

So sorry to hear about your Son. I am going through somewhat of a similar situations now myself. It would be great to me for us to communicate with each other about our different feelings and concerns if we can help each other. Please feel free to reach out to me, if you can (on fb)......God's be..

Flag Reply +1 rate up
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