Expat in immigration lockup was involved in sharp disputes on the Internet

A man who is being held on an immigration violation used the Internet as a weapon.

The man goes by the name Doug Smith, and his biggest success was a Web page he did for a client that described a Jacó man correctly as a convicted pedophile. Subsequently that man, Kirk Owen, was deported, in part because of the Web page.

Others say that Smith used a Facebook page and emails indiscriminately and they dispute the accuracy of his postings.

Smith, speaking by telephone from the immigration’s Centro de Aprehensión in Hatillo, said Monday that he has a hearing today at which his fate will be decided.

He will argue that he has a Costa Rican woman as a common law wife and that she is four months pregnant. He was detained in Jacó for overstaying his tourism visa for years and for running a business here.

Ironically it was the Internet that brought him to the attention of immigration agents. Smith has engaged in aggressive postings on Craig’s list that gave highly negative descriptions of other expats.

One expat, James Agnos, said he became so concerned by what he considered a conspiracy to murder him for a reward described online that he traveled to Panamá to report the matter to U.S. agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Smith claimed Monday that many of his postings were accurate and that he was set up because he was running an investigating company.

He said he recently renewed his tourism visa but that a burglar got his passport. He said he is married to Chrisley Montero Sandoval.

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