Category: Archive

Fulton homeward bound

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Patrick Markey

William James Fulton, the brother of a leading Portadown loyalist arrested in December on weapons charges, has been taken into custody by immigration officials and could be deported to Northern Ireland within a week, federal authorities said.

Los Angeles immigration officials took charge of Fulton last week and he is currently being processed for removal from the United States because of violations against the visa waiver pilot program, an INS spokesman said.

A district director signed the final order of removal in Fulton’s case on Monday and the deportation process usually takes seven to 10 days, the spokesman said.

The visa program allows visitors to enter the U.S. without visas for three months, but only after they also waive their rights to an immigration hearing. According to loyalist sources, Fulton entered the U.S. during the summer last year to stay with friends in the small California town of Murrieta, outside Los Angeles.

Fulton was arrested with his wife in December after police were called to the house the couple was staying with friends from Portadown. Neighbors reported hearing gunfire from the house, and the Fultons and three other adults were arrested on gun and weapons charges.

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Police discovered a cache of small-caliber weapons, an inert rocket-launcher and a small quantity of marijuana inside the house. Fulton’s wife allegedly admitted that she and another woman had been firing weapons outside the building.

Although Fulton had faced trial on weapons and drugs offenses, his charges were eventually dismissed by a California judge because of lack of evidence. Weapons charges are pending against Fulton’s wife.

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