A Potomac man was sentenced to 15 years in a Cuban prison for his involvement in crimes against the security of the Cuban state.
Alan Gross, a 61-year-old from Potomac, in Cuba after being accused of allegedly smuggling in satellite communications devices that the Cuban law prohibits, according to a CBS news story.
A panel of judges said that Gross was setting up secret internet networks for Cuban dissidents; however, the Obama administration and Gross’ family came to his defense and said that he was working to improve internet access for the Jewish community in Cuba, according to a story on MyFoxDC.com.
Gross worked for a company that subcontracted with the U.S. Agency for International Development to help bring regime change to Cuba when he was arrested in 2009. Gross has been in a Cuban prison for the last 15 months.
The White House and Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-8th District) have called for his immediate release.
“I call on the Government of Cuba to immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Gross,” Van Hollen said in a statement he released on his website. “He has been held for over a year, without cause, and should be allowed to return to his family. This extraordinary miscarriage of justice must end without delay.”