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Long-Time Fugitive Pleads Guilty in NY to Hijacking Plane to Cuba in 1968

pan am
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A man who was a fugitive for nearly 41 years pleaded guilty Thursday in  Manhattan federal court in the hijacking of Puerto Rican bound Pan American Flight 281 to Havana on Nov. 24, 1968, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Luis Armnando Pena Soltren, 67, the long-time fugitive, voluntarily surrendered to federal authorities in the U.S. in October 2009.

Authorities charged that he, along with some other men, wielded pistols and knives aboard the plane, forced their way into the airplane cabin and ordered the crew to land in Havana.

His fellow hijackers Jose Rafael Rios Cruz, now 68, was apprehended in 1975, and Miguel Castro, now 79, was captured in 1976, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Cruz was sentenced to 15 years in prison and Castro got 12 years.

Pena Soltren faces up to  life in prison. Sentencing is set for June 29.


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