Not only do they have no idea, but no one from the Obama administration during their months and months of “secret talks” with Cuba’s dictatorship even bothered to ask about the few we do know about.
U.S. has no idea how many fugitives Cuba’s harboring
The United States does not know how many fugitives are in Cuba.
Nobody tracks it. Nobody even routinely asks for the return of those wanted on serious federal charges, much less more common state offenses, the Sun Sentinel has found.
Law enforcement officials on state and federal levels say paperwork is rarely filed in Washington to request diplomatic assistance out of a sense that doing so would be futile. The United States has no working extradition treaty with Cuba.
“I could request Mars send someone back and we’d probably have better luck,” said Ryan Stumphauzer, a former U.S. assistant state attorney in Miami who prosecuted Medicare cheats, most of them Cuban-born. “We know Cuba is not sending anybody back.”
Since President Obama’s surprise shift in December toward normalizing relations with the Communist-led nation, some members of Congress have demanded that Cuba hand over fugitives. The irony: law enforcement isn’t regularly seeking their return.
Last week, three U.S. senators, including Florida’s Marco Rubio, asked the FBI to produce the names of fugitives in Cuba and copies of their indictments. No complete list is likely to be forthcoming.
There is no formal mechanism in use to request extradition, no centrally collected records nationwide of how many likely are on the run in Cuba, and no coordination among counties or states on the issue, the Sun Sentinel has found.
Even in Miami-Dade County, where most Cuban-Americans live, state prosecutors do not log or tally fugitives thought to be in Cuba.
“It’s not like we send up to Justice our Christmas list of potential felons,” said Ed Griffith, spokesman for the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.
In recent weeks the U.S. Marshals Office in South Florida has been scrambling to compile a list of people possibly hiding in Cuba, in case the Castro government suddenly agrees to expel such fugitives.
“We want to be prepared,” said Marshals Office spokesman Barry Golden.
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