- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 14, 2002

The mother of accused sniper John Lee Malvo has been deported to Jamaica, federal authorities confirmed yesterday.

Una Scion James, 38, was taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service officers on Tuesday after deciding not to appeal a pending Nov. 19 deportation order by a federal immigration judge. She initially filed a petition with INS requesting special protection as a battered spouse.

Mrs. James was flown late Thursday night from Seattle, where she had been detained last year by U.S. Border Patrol agents, to Miami, where she was transferred aboard a flight to Jamaica, her home country.

She lived in Jamaica with her 17-year-old son until 1998, when they moved to Antigua and met John Allen Muhammad, 41, who also has been charged in the 23-day killing spree in Maryland, Virginia and the District that claimed 10 lives and wounded three other persons. The two also are named in shootings in Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana.

Law-enforcement authorities said Mrs. James entered the United States in late 2000 using phony documents she obtained from Mr. Muhammad. Her son and Mr. Muhammad remained in Antigua, but came to this country in early 2001 the boy using a passport identifying him as Mr. Muhammad's son, according to Antiguan officials.

Initially, Mr. Malvo joined his mother in Fort Myers, Fla., but he ran away in October 2001 to rejoin Mr. Muhammad in Bellingham, Wash., where they lived in a homeless shelter posing as father and son.

In December, Mrs. James called Bellingham police to help take her son from Mr. Muhammad, but responding officers called the Border Patrol when the teenager suggested he and his mother had illegally entered the country.

Mrs. James and her son were arrested by Border Patrol Agents Keith Olson and Raymond Ruiz, who recommended them for immediate deportation after the woman said she and her son had been stowaways on a ship that arrived in Miami.

It was Mr. Olson who obtained the fingerprints of Mr. Malvo during his arrest as an illegal alien that led federal authorities to his arrest in a Maryland rest stop.

The agents' recommendation for immediate deportation was overturned by the INS when Mrs. James told a contradictory story about how she and her son had been smuggled into the United States. Within weeks of his release, Mr. Malvo was on the road with Mr. Muhammad.


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