Message in a bottle alleges Coast Guard mistreating Cubans

Posted at 1:09 PM, Jul 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-01 15:00:51-04

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) -- Authorities are investigating a message in a bottle alleging mistreatment of 21 Cuban migrants aboard a U.S. Coast Guard vessel.

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the Cubans should be returned home because the Florida Keys lighthouse where they landed May 20 didn't count as U.S. soil under the "wet-foot, dry-foot" policy.

Coast Guard Capt. Jeffrey Janszen is quoted by The Citizen as saying that a fisherman found a bottle floating off the Keys with a message alleging the group was suffering. Janszen says the letter appears authentic and names the migrants and the vessel where they've been detained for 40 days. But he says the allegations are "absolutely false."

The Miami judge is considering requests from the migrants' attorneys to have access to the group aboard the vessel.