Soldier of fortune gets 35-year term
Gerald Hemming, the South Florida soldier of fortune best known for his abortive attempt to lead a commando raid against Cuba in 1962, Thursday was sentenced to 35 yeras in prison for smuggling drugs.
In April 1980, Hemming was caught at Lantana Airport in Palm Beach Couny with a plane loaded with drugs, 723 pounds of marijuana and 177 Quaaludes.
In a Circuit Court trial in February, he defended himself, trying uncsuccessfully to convince a jury that he had been working for the U.S. government, infiltrating smuggling organizations.
Judge Marvin Mounts gave Hemming the maximum 30-year sentence for marijuana trafficking and a consecutive five-year sentence for possession of Quaaludes.
In December 1962, Hemming was intercepted by federal agents and arrested
while leading a small expedition of anti-Castro commandos. They were
halted as they launched an apparent strike mission aginst Cuba from the