• Officials: Florida couple stole 40-foot boat, sailed to Cuba for honeymoon

    By: The Associated Press , Kelly Healey


    KEY WEST, Fla. - A Florida couple quit their jobs, stole a 40-foot catamaran sailboat and sailed to Cuba for their honeymoon, authorities said.

    The Miami Herald reports Aaron Burmeister, 46, and Ashley McNeil, 32, of Big Pine Key, pleaded guilty Nov. 13 to charges of conspiracy to transport a vessel in foreign commerce.

    The newspaper said that the pair told agents with the U.S. Coast Guard that they didn’t know the boat was stolen, rather they believed it had been abandoned.


    They spent six months in a Cuban jail after their April 1 arrest. 


    They were returned to the United States in September and were arrested by federal agents when they arrived at Miami International Airport.


    During a Jan 7 sentencing in Key West, each were given up to five years in prison. In exchange for their pleas, the government dropped a second charge, which carried a prison term of up to 10 years.

    The owner said he bought the boat named Kaisosi for $350,000 last year.


    Information from: The Miami Herald, http://www.herald.com

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