A south Georgia motorcycle dealer sentenced to 27 months for smuggling failed to report to prison and went on the lam after sending e-mails to news organizations vowing not to be captured alive.
Andrew Wright was classified as a fugitive after he failed to report to a federal prison in Ohio on Dec. 7, U.S. Attorney Maxwell Wood said. The convicted smuggler sent e-mails to television stations and a newspaper saying that he had fled the country and would commit suicide rather than face capture.
“You will never take me alive to be tortured in you(r) death chambers,” he said in one message.
“It’s not unheard of for someone to fail to appear,” Wood said. “It’s rare for someone to be so blatant in the publication of their intentions. The system does the same work, regardless of whether they’re holding press conferences.”
Wright, who ran a business known as Super Bike Racing, was convicted in March of smuggling, mail fraud, wire fraud and false statements. In addition to the prison sentence he also was ordered to pay $20,675 in restitution.
Prosecutors contended Wright smuggled into the country motorcycles that violated federal emission and safety standards.
By fleeing, Wright’s original sentence could be lengthened by three years and he’ll likely face a new charge of failure to appear, which carries a maximum five-year sentence, Wood said.
“He’s adding eight years to his sentence,” Wood said.
Wright’s attorney, J. Converse Bright of Valdosta, was not at his office for comment, a secretary said.