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NJ State Police Want Fugitive Living In Cuba Back In Prison

By David Madden and David Spunt

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) - The head of the New Jersey State Police has chimed in on plans by the Obama Administration to resume diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than 50 years. Cops in the Garden State see the move as an opportunity to return a convicted cop killer to prison.

Joanne Chesimard, convicted in the 1973 execution-style murder of a state trooper along the New Jersey Turnpike, was busted out of prison six years later. She made her way to Cuba, where she lives under a different name, with the blessing of the Castro regime.

She is currently on the FBI's most wanted terror list.

"There's an enormous amount of clarity to this case. It's not that we're seeking anyone for prosecution. It's not that we're seeking a suspect. We're seeking somebody who has committed the crime, was convicted of that crime and was sentenced," Fuentes tells Eyewitness News.

Fuentes says the Chesimard case is one of the first cases he handled when he began his career as a trooper.

"It's something we constantly think about and especially what it represents."

New Jersey State Police Colonel Joseph Fuentes says numerous private and diplomatic attempts to extradite Chesimard have gotten nowhere, but they'll try again.

"Aside from the politics of this, I look at this strictly as an opportunity to re-engage that discussion."

Fuentes says there are a number of alleged cop killers in Cuba, but unlike Chesimard, they've yet to be tried for their crimes.

NJSP and the FBI are offering a $2 million reward for information leading to Chesimard's "safe return."

"We will not rest until she is brought back to justice. We owe that to the families of troopers who serve and sacrifice," he said.

To read visit the FBI file on Chesimard, click here.

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