Cuban influx hits 36,000; 2 criminal suspects in tow
Key West, Fla.
A White House spokesman in Washington said the Pentagon has been asked to prepare two military bases in Maryland and Pennsylvania to help process the refugees. More than 5,000 refugees were officially counted into Key West Sunday , bringing the total since April 23 to about 36,000.
Among the refugees in Miami, the FBI has found two Cubans it has sought for about decade. Alfredo Alejandro Hernandez was arrested for allegedly hijacking a National Airlines Boeing 727 to Cuba from Jacksonville, Fla., in 1969. Santiago Rodolfo Moises Alfonso had been sought since 1970, when he was indicted by a federal grand jury on a charge of interstate transportation of a stolen aircraft.
In Key West, the captain of the largest US ship to participate in the sealift said Cuban authorities forced him to load 400 convicts and mental patients on his boat, threatening to put him before a firing squad if he refused.