LAWFUEL – Law Jobs, Law News – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Edgar P. Moreno, Special Agent in Charge, United States Department of State Diplomatic Security Service, and Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, announced the unsealing of an two-count Indictment charging defendant David Ray Franklin with interstate transportation of a stolen aircraft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2312, and international parental kidnapping, in violation of Title 18, United Stated Code, Section 1204(a).
David Ray Franklin, who fled to Cuba last month, was returned to the United States earlier today through the efforts of the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (“DSS”) and the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, Cuba. DSS Special Agents escorted Franklin back to Miami on a commercial aircraft to face the criminal charges. In addition, the U.S. Interests Section’s American Citizen Services office in Havana reunited the minor with his mother, the custodial parent.
United States Attorney Alexander Acosta stated, “Kidnapping, by a non-custodial parent or by a stranger, is a desperate and despicable act. Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of the U.S. State Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, we have safely reunited a mother and child. Franklin, instead of spending time with his son, now faces federal criminal charges and the prospect of spending time in a federal prison.”
Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Ambassador Richard J. Griffin, said, “This case illustrates the unique abilities of DSS to perform extraordinary law enforcement activities overseas. DSS continues to excel in tracking down and bringing back U.S. fugitives from justice from around the world.”
“Diplomatic Security’s Miami Field Office maintains an excellent working relationship with all law enforcement personnel, thus enabling the capture and return,” said Joe D. Morton, Director of the Diplomatic Security Service, “It’s this type of close, worldwide law enforcement liaison capability that gives Diplomatic Security unparalleled ability to locate, pursue and apprehend fugitives.”
According to the criminal complaint previously filed, on September 30, 2006, defendant Franklin, a United States citizen, traveling with his minor son, also a United States citizen, stole a Cessna 172 Hawk XP fixed-wing airplane from the Marathon airport, and arrived at Juan Galberto Gomez Airport, located in Varadero, Cuba. Franklin did not have legal custody of his minor son, whom he took to Cuba in the stolen aircraft. If convicted, Franklin faces a maximum statutory penalty of ten (10) years’ imprisonment.
Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Diplomatic Security Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michele Korver.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls . Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov/ or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov/ .