Legendary jazz pianist Herbie Hancock has written a letter to a federal judge on behalf of his friend Bruce Veniero, a former Los Angeles club owner who was busted for marijuana smuggling in 1998.
"Many of my friends even today have fine memories of dining at this great restaurant,” Hancock wrote to Judge Thomas Platt about Veniero's Nucleus Nuance in Beverly Hills, adding that Veniero gave him "unceasing support and encouragement throughout the years."
After Veniero pled guilty to importing more than a ton of marijuana from Mexico to New York and posted $1 million bail, he fled to Argentina, where he was arrested in 2012 and extradited back to the U.S.
Judge Platt is expected to sentence Veniero in Long Island federal court on July 18. The defendant also faces charges of bail jumping and flight from prosecution.