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Peleís son denied bail

Sao Paulo: A state judge refused to grant bail to Peleís son while he awaits trial on drug charges, court officials said.

Edson Cholbi Nascimento was among some 50 suspects arrested last week in a police crackdown on a cocaine-dealing gang in the seaside city of Santos, about 70 km southeast of Sao Paulo.

Judge Edgard de Souza Castro, of the Praia Grande first criminal court, denied a defence request to release Nascimento on bail.

Castro said that wiretapped phone conversations between Nascimento and members of the drug gang were material evidence of his involvement.

Nascimento, 35, a former professional soccer player known as Edinho, was charged with criminal association with drug traffickers. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

On Sunday evening, Brazilís Rede record TV network showed video of Nascimento informally admitting to his involvement with the drug gang.

ďIím guilty, thatís no secret. Today, Iím prepared to face two or three years (in prison), understand'Ē he said on the tape, recorded inside the headquarters of Sao Pauloís anti-narcotics division.

It was not immediately clear how the television station obtained the tape or who Nascimento was talking with.

Nascimento was a second-string goalkeeper for eight years with Santos, Peleís former club. He retired from professional soccer in 1999.

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