AUGUST 25, 1998
(202) 514-2008
TDD (202) 514-1888



WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Justice announced today that seven Cuban-Americans have been charged with conspiracy to murder Fidel Castro.

The indictment, returned today in San Juan, Puerto Rico, charged Jose Antonio Llama, Jose Rodriguez, Alfredo Domingo Otero, Angel Manuel Alfonso, Angel Hernandez Rojo, Juan Bautista Marque and Francisco Secundino-Cordova with conspiring to murder Fidel Castro, President of the Republic of Cuba, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1117, 1116, and 1111.

The indictment, which contains a number of counts against each of the defendant, and one count against Nautical Sports, Inc., charges the defendants with participating in a four-year conspiracy to kill Castro outside the United States, and at a time when he would have been outside of Cuba, mainly, Isla Margarita, Venezuela in November 1997.

The indictment also charges the co-conspirators with obtaining, among other things: two .50 caliber semi-automatic rifles which were to be used as sniper rifles; a 46 foot boat, which was modified by the co-conspirators to permit it to sail virtually anywhere in the waters in and around the Caribbean without having to stop for refueling; and night-vision goggles and other equipment, including Global Positioning Units known as GPU's, to assist the co-conspirators in carrying out the assassination of Castro.

Other charges contained in the indictment include: misuse of a vessel, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2274; false statements, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001; and smuggling, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 545.

If convicted, each defendant faces up to life imprisonment. The indictment is part of a continuing investigation being conducted by the FBI and the U.S. Customs Service, which was exposed on October 27, 1997, when a U.S. Coast Guard cutter intercepted and boarded the boat that was carrying four of the co-conspirators. The sniper rifles and some of the other equipment were found hidden in the boat.