MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The second member of the Cuban Five spy ring that was released Thursday was back in Miami Friday under heavy protection from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Fernando Gonzalez, 50, also known as Ruben Campa, was released Thursday at 4 a.m. in Arizona and turned over to immigration officials for deportation to his native Cuba. Friday morning, a CBS4 viewer captured this image of the protection detail around Gonzalez during his transfer in Miami.
Gonzalez arrived in Cuba around 12 PM.
Gonzalez was one of five men convicted in 2001 in Miami on charges including conspiracy and failure to register as foreign agents in the United States. Collectively, the were part of the “Wasp Network” sent by Fidel Castro to spy in South Florida.
Trial testimony showed they sought to infiltrate military bases, including the headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command and installations in the Florida Keys. They also kept tabs on Cuban exiles opposed to the communist government in Havana and sought to place operatives inside campaigns of U.S. politicians opposed to that government, prosecutors said.
Havana maintains the agents posed no threat to U.S. sovereignty and were only monitoring militant exiles to prevent terrorist attacks in Cuba, the best known of which was a series of bombings of Havana hotels that killed an Italian tourist in 1997.
Gonzalez was originally sentenced to 19 years but had his prison term reduced after the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said he was wrongly labeled a supervisor of other spies for certain activities.