Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fla. lawmaker's son accused of smuggling immigrants (Arizona Republic)

Fla. lawmaker's son accused of smuggling immigrants

by Jerry Kammer - Sept. 16, 2008 04:14 PM
Republic Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - The son of a Florida congressman was arrested Sunday by U.S. Border Patrol agents near Willcox and charged with smuggling illegal immigrants.

Federal prosecutors allege that John Finlayson Boyd, 30, was smuggling four individuals in his pickup truck when he was stopped at a checkpoint. Two of them were lying on the floor behind the front seat and two others were concealed under a piece of plywood in the bed of the truck, prosecutors say.

Prosecutors say that after Boyd was informed of his Miranda right against self-incrimination, he "admitted picking up the group in the desert and admitted knowing that the group had illegally entered the United States."

Two of the immigrants said they were going to pay $3,000 to be smuggled into the U.S., according to a criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney's office.

According to the criminal complained against him, "Agents found two plastic bags that contained several rocks of crystal amphetamine, four unopened syringes, a spoon with white residue and burn marks on the bottom and three knives."

Also in the truck, according to the complaint, was a 6-year-old girl, who since has been reunited with her parents.

Boyd made his initial appearance Monday in U.S. District Court in Tucson, where he was held over for a detention hearing.

Boyd is the son of Rep. Allen Boyd, D-Fla., whose family owns a farm in Florida and who has supported proposals to provide a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who pay fines and back taxes.

Rep. Boyd was once one of just two Democrats in the House Immigration Reform Caucus, which favors enforcement of immigration laws. But he is no longer listed as a member on the group's Web site.

In a statement issued by his office, Rep. Boyd said, "This is a family matter that my family and I will be dealing with privately. John is a grown man and must face the consequences for his actions, but he has the love and support of his family."

In 2008 John Boyd faced a misdemeanor charge in Tucson Municipal Court on a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. He was later charged with violation of a promise to appear in court. In July the court issued a warrant for his arrest.

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