A bad apple just got worse
We reported here earlier about the activities of one William Lipton, a US retiree who organizes the so-called Volcan Town Meetings in the Chiriqui highlands. At one point, he organized a gun shooting practice session to "empower" people to "shoot intruders". It then turned out that Mr. Lipton had been arrested in 2005 in Florida for flashing a gun on school property, more precisely at a school sports game. We - and probably you as well - thought that that was about it with this gun nut. But it isn't.
Turns out that William Lipton has a past of illegal arms trafficking in Costa Rica, and that he's apparently living from arrest to arrest on gun-related charges.
In 1976, Costa Rican newspaper La Nacion reported that William Lipton and a female companion had been arrested with literally a truck full of heavy firearms. Lipton was immediately detained and later charged with arms trafficking charges.
Lipton, according to the newspaper, had already risen suspicion with the Costa Rican authorities because he received his pensionado visa in less than two months - a record - based on someone in Mexico sending him $500 monthly.
Among the arms shipment were 7000 rounds of ammunition of various calibers and two machine guns. One machine gun was fitted with a telescope, "an ideal weapon to commit assassinations", said the police, wondering what the final destination of the military hardware would have been had they not intercepted it.
We're at this moment trying to get confirmation that William Lipton was indeed convicted. At one point he apparently returned to the US, where he then was arrested for flashing a gun at a school sports game.
(More from the Costa Rican press about William Lipton - story continues below)
Since we first wrote about this character, we have received numerous complaints about Lipton's behavior in Volcan and surroundings (which gave us some hope that not all expat gringos there are extremist wacko conspiracy and gun nuts selling snake oil on Yahoo groups). He appears to be a reckless driver who has already been involved in various serious car accidents, and about 50 people have already signed a petition against his driving habits. "He is always armed", one resident told us, and we understand that for female companionship Mr. Lipton preys on local high school girls.
So there you have it, Volcan expats! These Town Meetings you are attending are actually being organized by an arms trafficker. More to follow, so stay tuned!
INSTANT UPDATE: Right before being caught in Costa Rica with a shipment of military grade arms, Lipton became a director of the freshly incorporated Panamanian company International Fishco, S.A. Coincidence? Connection?
UPDATE 2: Okay Bananamistas, here's some homework for you. We need to find out who the girl in the picture is. Volcan and/or Cerro Punta area. Any tips will be treated confidentially. Contact us if you know anything.