Pubdate: May 10, 2005
Author: Chuck Brown (email@example.com)
Accused in slayings described himself as assassin
A man accused of slaying an elderly Minto couple told American Customs officers he was an off-duty assassin before being allowed to cross the border, says a Charlotte County man who was seeking entry into Maine at the same time.
"That's the reason I remember him. He said he was an assassin," Eddie Young, of Pennfield, said Monday.
Mr. Young, who works in the aquaculture industry, said he was in the U.S. Customs office in Calais, Me., on Monday, April 25. He said he sat next to a man with a Mohawk hairstyle, wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying brass knuckles, swords and a chainsaw.
"I'm going like, Jesus, he's an assassin? Like, 130 pounds, nasty looking little Mohawk. I don't even think he blinked for the 25 minutes we were sitting beside each other," Mr. Young said.
He said he watched as officials confiscated an arsenal of weapons.
"When he come in they opened his bag up and they took out, it looked like large bayonets to me but they could have been a little bit longer for swords, and then two pairs of brass knuckles fastened on to his bag, a chainsaw and what looked like a flak jacket, a bullet-proof vest," Mr. Young said.
Customs officials seized the weapons, then let the man into the country.
Mr. Young said after officials confiscated the weapons he watched as officers appeared to be joking and swinging the swords in a back room.
"I watched the Customs guys fling the swords around in the back room," Mr. Young said. "I mean, wouldn't the evidence be ruined with their fingerprints?"
Mr. Young said officials treated the man with the weapons better than they treated him.
"When I come back in they were giving him a coffee," Mr. Young said. "He got processed faster than I did."
Mr. Young said he was detained at the border station while trying to enter Calais because he was arrested in Ottawa almost 20 years ago for drug possession - two grams of hash. He said he was pardoned in Canada on the charge.
He was travelling with a group of friends. They were on their way to Cancun, Mexico, for a vacation. Mr. Young was not allowed to continue on with his friends and never got the money for his trip refunded.
Janet Rapaport, a spokeswoman from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency said she could not confirm that a man told officers he was an assassin.
But even if he did, she said, he could not have been detained.
"He said a lot of things. . . the point is he co-operated in that there was no violent encounter with him concerning the weapons and we checked to see if there were any outstanding warrants or any other history on him and there wasn't any cause for us to hold him," Ms. Rapaport said in an interview last week from her office in New York City.
She indicated there will be no investigation or review into Mr. Young's claims.
Asked if she would attempt to verify or discount what Mr. Young says he heard, Ms. Rapaport said, "Actually, not."
She said the assassin comment, if made, would not have been cause to detain the man.
"We followed all of our procedures. When our people encountered him, again, I'm saying there was no conflict in terms of him resisting or anything and, you know, we were able to verify that he was Canadian-born, a naturalized U.S. citizen and he did have the proper documentation for that so we checked on that, we verified that," Ms. Rapaport said. "So for what he was alleging to be doing, we took the weapons away from him, obviously. He didn't declare them, that would be his penalty in terms of Customs and Border Protection."
Ms. Rapaport said she would not comment further on Mr. Young's story.
"He may have said a lot of things about who he was and where he was from.
"So I can't comment on some listener's report. But at the same time I will tell you we checked all our databases, discussed this with RCMP. There was no reason, validated reason for us to hold him further," she said.
"Our concerns were, who is this guy? Is there anything outstanding? A warrant? Any criminal history? There was nothing there so that's the best I can do."
On Tuesday, April 26, the bodies of Fred Fulton, 74, and Verna Decarie, 70, were discovered in their Minto home.
A day after that, Gregory Allen Despres, 22, was arrested by police in Mattapoisett, Mass.. He was charged with being a fugitive from justice and RCMP in New Brunswick identified him as a "person of interest" in their investigation into the murders in Minto.
On Friday, April 29, Mr. Despres was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and is being held in a Massachusetts jail.
Ms. Rapaport said the weapons seized at the border are in the process of being transferred to the RCMP.
Justice officials in New Brunswick forwarded an application to Ottawa Monday seeking Mr. Despres' extradition.
Gary Toft, a provincial Justice Department spokesman, said could not say when the extradition hearing might be held.
"Eventually, the application and all of the documents end up in front of a U.S. judge," Mr. Toft said.
Mr. Young said he doesn't expect he'll ever be permitted into the U.S. again.
He said he has no plans to apply to U.S. authorities for permission to enter the country.
He said the cost and the uncertainty of the process is prohibitive
As I said in my speech in Niagara Falls....why would anyone who did not absolutely have to travel to the US do so in this day and age?
I am not one bit surprised by this.
I have been pulled out of lines, had my tickets printed out with SSSS (Selected for Secondary Security Screening or the Nazi Insignia if you will) my bags searched, my pictures looked at and my computer seized all while the arabic men speaking farsi behind me get to walk through Customs unmolested.
It's enough to make you want to chew nails.