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White House Maid, Two Others Plead Innocent

September 9, 1986

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Nancy Reagan’s personal maid and two other people pleaded innocent today to being part of a conspiracy to smuggle munitions out of the United States, but a fourth person failed to appear.

Anita Sanabria Castelo, 45, of Tacoma Park, Md., a member of the White House staff, and two of the three men charged in the alleged plot appeared before U.S. District Judge Robert R. Merhige Jr.

They face charges of conspiring to export ammunition without a license and exporting ammunition without a license.

Also entering pleas were Julio Cesar Baez Acosta, of Paraguay and Eugenio Silva of Richmond. All are free on bond.

None of the defendants made any comment beyond stating their pleas.

The fourth person charged, Hernan Pedermo Duarte, also of Paraguay, did not appear in court and Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Welsh said he is a fugitive.

Mrs. Castelo, a native of Paraguay, and the others allegedly conspired from November 1985 to Aug. 5 to buy .22-caliber ammunition in Richmond and ship it to Paraguay aboard a freighter captained by Acosta.

Duarte was the chief officer aboard the Marsical Jose Felix Estigarribia. Authorities seized 350,000 rounds of ammunition aboard the ship the night of Aug. 4.

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