BETHESDA, Md. (AP) _ With Juan Miguel Gonzalez now miles away from the Bethesda, Md., home he occupied for over two weeks, local officials took time Monday to thank residents for their patience.

``Thank you for being such good neighbors and for making it easier for our police officers to do their job,'' read a letter signed by Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan and Chief of Police Charles A. Moose.

Gonzalez had been staying at the home of a Cuban diplomat since arriving in the United States on April 6. Local residents were faced with throngs of media and road closures as a result.

Since Saturday, he has been at Andrews Air Force Base, where he was reunited with son Elian.