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Man extradited in theft of plane flown to Cuba

1:13 AM, Oct 29, 2006   |    comments
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MIAMI (AP) -- A man was extradited to the United States to face charges that he stole a private airplane from a Florida Keys airport and flew it to Cuba with his young son as a passenger.

David Ray Franklin was charged yesterday with interstate transportation of a stolen aircraft and international parental kidnapping. It was not immediately known if he had a lawyer.

Fifty-two year-old Franklin and his son took off in someone else's blue and white Cessna 172 Hawk from the Marathon airport last month. Later that day, Cuban authorities notified the U.S. Interests Section in Havana that a plane matching that description had landed in Cuba. Franklin does not have legal custody of his son.

Authorities escorted Franklin back to Miami on a commercial aircraft yesterday to face the criminal charges. They also reunited the minor with his mother, the custodial parent.

If convicted, Franklin faces up to 10 years in prison.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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