By Harry Keaney
William James Fulton, the brother of a leading Portadown, Co. Armagh, loyalist who was arrested on weapons, drug and child endangerment charges in California last December, was "removed" from the United States on Thursday evening last, according to the Immigration and Naturalization Service in Los Angeles.
Fulton and his wife, Tania, were among a number of people arrested in Murrieta, Calif., on Dec. 16 after police were called to the house in which they were staying after weapons were reportedly fired.
The charges against Fulton had already been dismissed because of lack of evidence. He was removed from the U.S. on the grounds that he violated visa regulations.
However, as the Echo went to press, his whereabouts, in Britain or Ireland, were unclear.
Meanwhile, his wife has pleaded guilty to discharging a firearm in a negligent manner and will be sentenced March 7 in Riverside Consolidated Court, according to the local district attorney’s office. The following day, she will turn 30.
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A spokeswoman in the district attorney’s office said it is waiting for a probation report with a recommendation regarding sentencing.
"She faces no more than a year in county jail," the spokeswoman said.
However, a source with knowledge of the case told the Echo that Fulton will likely not be jailed but will instead be placed on probation and allowed to leave the U.S.