Cuban Pleads Guilty in Hijacking
NEW ORLEANS- A Cuban man pleaded guilty
Wednesday to federal air piracy and kidnapping
charges in the 1980 hijacking of a Delta Air Lines flight
Miguel Aguiar Rodriguez, 55, faces a possible life
sentence at sentencing in March. He was arrested in
August after showing up for an appointment with the
Immigration and Naturalization Service in Miami using
Aguiar and his brother, Roberto, boarded the flight
bound for Atlanta and threatened to set fire to bottles
containing a flammable liquid, authorities said. The
pilot flew to Havana, the hijackers were removed from
the plane and the flight, with 81 passengers, continued
to Atlanta after about two hours.
Cuba sentenced Aguiar to four years in prison.
U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said he slipped back into the
United States two years ago and had lived his
daughter in Miami. He was applying for permanent
residency when he was arrested.
Aguiar first arrived in the United States at Key West,
during the 1980 Mariel boatlift. Letten said Aguiar's
brother died last month.