New York Times
December 9,1997

Man Arrested for 1969 Hijacking

By The Associated Press

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- A man wanted for hijacking a flight and diverting it to Cuba 28 years ago has been arrested after trying to enter the United States from Canada.

An indictment unsealed Monday charged Felix Rolando Peterson-Coplin with using a gun to hijack an Eastern Airlines flight from New York City bound for San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Sept. 7, 1969. There were 96 passengers on board.

It was one of 57 flights diverted to Cuba that year.

U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service inspectors arrested Peterson-Coplin Sunday while he tried to cross the border at Alexandria Bay, about 100 miles north of Syracuse.

He had been living in Ontario and had a Canadian passport.

Peterson-Coplin was then transported to Syracuse, where in federal court Monday he acknowledged he was the person named in the indictment. He did not make any admissions about his role in the hijacking.

Peterson-Coplin faces at least 20 years in prison if convicted.