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US hijacker sentenced to 20 years in prison

Published on Jul 18, 2014 10:47 AM

MIAMI (AFP) - A former Black Panther who hijacked an airplane in 1984 and diverted it to Cuba was sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday in Miami.

William Potts, 57, will be eligible for early release on parole after seven years.

US District Judge Michael Moore took into account the 13 years Potts spent in a Cuban jail after he forced the crew of a Piedmont Airlines flight from New York to Miami to change course to Cuba on March 27, 1984.

Upon arriving on the communist island, where he hoped to be welcomed as a revolutionary, Potts was jailed.

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