- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 21, 2002

The mother of sniper suspect John Lee Malvo has been ordered deported to Jamaica by a U.S. immigration judge following a closed-door hearing in Seattle.
The order came Tuesday after Una Scion James, 38, withdrew a petition she filed with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service requesting special protection as a battered spouse. She also waived her right to an appeal, although it was not clear when she would be returned home.
Mrs. James 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.
Meanwhile, federal authorities yesterday confirmed that they have been unable to determine where Mr. Muhammad got the .223-caliber Bushmaster XM15 semiautomatic rifle they suspect was used in the sniper killings. The weapon was traced through ballistics tests to several of the victims and was found in Mr. Muhammad's car at the time of his arrest.
The weapon was delivered by the manufacturer on July 2 to Bull's Eye Shooter Supply in Tacoma, Wash., but authorities said the store was unable to either produce a sales receipt showing the purchase of the rifle or the actual rifle itself. An inquiry, which could include sanctions against the store, is continuing.
The store's owner, Brian Borgelt, did not return calls yesterday to his office. Earlier this month, he offered a $2,000 reward for information on how the rifle made it out of his shop.
In the immigration case, law-enforcement authorities said Mrs. James entered the United States in late 2000 using phony identification 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.
Last December, Mrs. James called Bellingham police to help take her son from Mr. Muhammad, but the responding officers called the U.S. Border Patrol when the teenager suggested that he and his mother had illegally entered the country.
Mrs. James and her son were arrested as illegal aliens and, after the woman told Border Patrol Agents Keith Olson and Raymond Ruiz that she and the boy had been stowaways on a ship that arrived in Miami, they were recommended for immediate deportation.
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.
But the agents' recommendation for immediate deportation was overturned by the INS when Mrs. James told a contradictory story about how she and her son were not stowaways but had been smuggled into the United States. Within weeks of his release, Mr. Malvo was on the road with Mr. Muhammad.
"They were determined to be illegal aliens from Jamaica," said John Bates, deputy chief of the Border Patrol's Blaine, Wash., sector, which handled the case. "The agents processed them for deportation, and they were transferred over to the INS district office in Seattle."
But when they got there, INS officials found "some discrepancies" in the Border Patrol's arrest report, according to an INS official in Seattle who spoke on the condition of anonymity.


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