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Costa Rica Extradites U.S. Citizen

September 2, 1999

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) _ A U.S. man was extradited from Costa Rica to serve a 40-year prison sentence for drug trafficking, the U.S. Embassy here said Wednesday.

Patrick Waldrop was captured in Costa Rica in 1990, but was able to evade extradition through a law that prevents men who are paying child support in Costa Rica from leaving the country for good. Based on that law, Waldrop, who was extradited Aug. 30, said he could not leave the country given that he owed child support.

He lost that recourse after the constitutional branch of Costa Rica’s supreme court determined that the law can’t be used to prevent extraditions.

Waldrop, from Birmingham, Ala., was sentenced in the United States in 1982 to 40 years in prison for transporting more than 270,000 kilograms of marijuana between January 1977 and September 1981, according to a news release from the U.S. Embassy.

Costa Rican authorities detained Waldrop in July 1990 on Tamarindo beach, northeast of San Jose. He was later brought to a jail in San Sebastian, where he remained incarcerated for a little more than nine years.

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