MIAMI (AP) – Authorities have brought back to the United States a man whom they identified as the first U.S. fugitive turned over by the Cuban government since its recent thaw in relations with the U.S.
The Marshals said in a news release Tuesday that Shawn Wegmann is wanted in Iowa on federal firearms charges.
Investigators say Wegmann arrived in Havana on Oct. 31 aboard a 13-foot Boston Whaler that he stole from a Key West marina. He was arrested by Cuban border guards.
Wegmann is scheduled for a court hearing in Miami on Wednesday. Authorities say he is from Kirklin, Indiana. He is likely to be returned to Iowa to face weapons charges. It was not immediately known if he had a lawyer.
President Barack Obama acknowledged earlier this year that Cuba has gone so far as to provide housing, food ration books and medical care to some of the fugitives wanted by the United States to stand trial or serve sentences on serious charges. Many remain upset that Cuba has refused to return Joanne Chesimard, a member of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army who has lived in Cuba since escaping prison after her 1977 conviction for killing a New Jersey state trooper.