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American Missionaries Freed from Haiti Arrive in US

Eight American missionaries who were charged with kidnapping children in earthquake-ravaged Haiti have arrived in the U.S., nearly three weeks after they were arrested in the Caribbean nation.

A U.S. military cargo plane carrying the group landed early Thursday in Miami, Florida. They quickly went to a hotel.

The missionaries were arrested January 29 after trying to take 33 Haitian children out of the country. Haitian authorities say the missionaries did not have proper documentation to move the children.

On Wednesday, a Haitian judge released the eight from jail. But the judge said two others - the leader of the group of Baptists, Laura Silsby, and another woman, Charisa Coulter - will remain in custody to be questioned about a previous trip to Haiti.

A lawyer for Silsby and Coulter says his clients are innocent.

The 10 Americans were charged with child trafficking and criminal conspiracy, which could be punished by lengthy prison terms.

The missionaries said they were planning to set up an orphanage in the neighboring Dominican Republic. However, many of the children involved in the case have parents in Haiti.

Parents of some of the youngsters appeared in court earlier this month, saying they willingly offered their children to the missionaries. The parents called for the Americans to be freed unconditionally.

Meanwhile, the missionaries' former legal advisor, Jorge Puello, is wanted by the United States and El Salvador for his alleged involvement in a sex trafficking ring.