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      Vigil held in D.C. for Alan Gross, the American held in Cuba

      Alan Gross with his wife Judy. Alan Gross, a 61-year-old Maryland native, was arrested in December 2009 and charged with undermining Cuba's government by bringing communications equipment onto the island illegally.

      WASHINGTON (AP) - The wife of an American imprisoned in Cuba for nearly two years has joined a vigil for her husband outside the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, telling supporters that she remains hopeful her husband can return home soon.

      Judy Gross said Friday that her husband Alan Gross is suffering every day mentally, physically and spiritually.

      Gross was arrested in Cuba in December 2009 after being caught illegally bringing communications equipment onto the island. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison for crimes against the state. Gross says he was only trying to help the island's tiny Jewish community get Internet access.

      A recent trip to Cuba by former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who claimed he was invited to the island to negotiate Gross' release, failed.