Volcan gun nut William Lipton’s history of arms trafficking in Costa Rica

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A bad apple just got worse

William Lipton in CRWe 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.

William Lipton Arms Trafficking

Article in La Nacion. Click for a bigger version

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?

Girl5UPDATE 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.

4 thoughts on “Volcan gun nut William Lipton’s history of arms trafficking in Costa Rica

  1. We will just never run out of these crazies, will we. I wonder how they get in the country to begin with….keep up the good work and watch your back. there are crazies, and there are crazies!!!!!

    • Something about Panama attracts wack job nut cases from the USA. Either that, or Panama has developed a reputation as a great place to where concerned USA citizens can, via taking up a collection, deposit their own home-town or family wack job nut cases in. Lots of trash does wash up on these,shores does it not? Anyone can attest to ths after their first visit to a local beach.

  2. This erson is truly frightening. You see folks around, you never know what they may or may not have in their past, or what they might be up to. But eventually, like this asshole, they show their true nature. All I ever knew was that he was an asshole in public, and an embarassment to gringos. Not exactly anything anyone could make a complaint to police about. Simply someone to steer clear of.

  3. The picture of the young girl in the update leads me to believe it was taken in either the Bocas area or the highlands area of Chiriqui because of the animal skin on the wall. Maybe Lipton’s photo should be circulated in area high schools.

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