Posts Tagged ‘Tampa’
Costa Rica Real Estate Expert & Former Fugitive Charles Boyd Appearing in Tampa to Educate Investors on August 12th
Sarasota, FL (PRWEB) August 4, 2010
Charles Boyd returns to Tampa on August 12th to educate investors on doing business in Costa Rica, something he learned himself through a series of difficult decisions. In 1999, his options were: spend a mandatory minimum 12 years in prison, testify against his suppliers, or leave the country. Under the power of a life-controlling addiction and hunted by dangerous men, he chose to run.
“I was active in my addiction at the time and absolutely scared out of my mind,” Boyd says today. “I had armed men trying to track me down to assure that I would not testify, the law was looking for me, and I felt like there was no other way but to leave.”
By the time Interpol found him in December, 2007, Boyd had been clean for over 3 years, thanks to the first English-speaking Narcotics Anonymous group in San Jose, Costa Rica. He had also married a native, had a one-year-old son and had built a successful business helping North Americans purchase property in Costa Rica.
Then came the most difficult decision of all.
In his nearly 8 years in Costa Rica, Boyd had also found something else: a faith that called upon him to do the right thing.
“Extradition to the United States was not likely to occur because of my young Costa Rican son,” Boyd explains. “However after many visits with my sponsor and pastor, I started to see that this was not going to end unless I came back to the states and faced the music.”
But his biggest hurdle was convincing his Costa Rican wife that this was the best move for the couple and their young son.
“At first she did not want to accept it, but after a few days and a couple more visits in that immigration jail, she went to church with a friend.” Boyd explains. “Afterward she returned to tell me that she indeed understood.”
Boyd made the decision to sign the voluntary deportation papers, and although he immediately questioned the decision, he was on a plane a few days later and there was no turning back.
Facing The Music
Back in the US, Boyd faced multiple felony charges ranging all the way from “Possession of a Controlled Substance” to “Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution.” He returned to Minnesota to stand before a judge in Dakota County only to meet with a surprise.
“I was very blessed in that during the few years prior to this I had sponsored many addicts and started the NA chapter in my home town of Jaco, Costa Rica.” Boyd explains. “And although I did not ask for it, I got huge support from the community back in Costa Rica.”
Letters began to pour in. Judges responsible for sentencing Boyd read about his previous few years in Costa Rica. Letter after letter attested to the work Charles Boyd was busy doing helping other people recover from addictions. All told, more than 55 letters of support made their way to the courts.
“The judges gave me incredible consideration for the changes that I had made in my own life, and for my service in the community,” says Boyd. “And community support is an acceptable reason to consider a downward depature from the mandatory sentencing guidelines.”
Meeting The Challenge
While originally facing a guaranteed minimum 12-year sentence, Boyd found himself receiving 10 years probation (which was later dropped) and special conditions calling for him to make amends by serving 1 year in the county jail and completing the “Life Care Program” at Minnesota Teen Challenge. During his time in Teen Challenge, the 12-year sentence was suspended until he completed the requirements set forth by the judge.
Because of his extensive experience in Narcotics Anonymous and his profound faith, the 14-month extensive faith-based program for people suffering from addiction was an ideal environment for Charles to help others battling against the same demons he once faced… and to pay his debt to society simultaneously.
“I spent 6 days a week in church, conducted the choir, and traveled to churches throughout Minnesota every Sunday,” Boyd says of his experience.
Boyd was officially released from the program on October 28, 2009, five years to the day from the date he got clean.
And some of those who stood up for him when he returned to the States were waiting, including self-made billionaire and environmentalist Ed Mercer, who had been patiently courting Boyd to help promote his residential real estate development – the most well-established and respected of its kind in Costa Rica.
“Ed saw the work we were doing in the community – helping with young kids and keeping them off the streets – as well as the work I had done with my own real estate project,” says Boyd. “He became a believer in me personally and called me every Saturday for over 2 years while I dealt with things back here in the States.”
Today, Boyd is the co-founder of The Costa Rica Team, and is busy about promoting the investment and lifestyle opportunities that Costa Rica affords to American and Canadians looking to expand their portfolios and enjoy a beautiful environment. And he’s rebuilding the ministry that he founded in Costa Rica: Support Jaco Youth.
And most importantly, he’s a free man.
“It was so amazing to be reunited with my wife and son last October, but as of July, 2010, the courts have completely discharged me of all responsibility related to my charges,” says Boyd.
Now, when he travels back and forth to Costa Rica, he does so on the up-and-up… and without having to look over his shoulder in fear of Interpol and the FBI.
Boyd still gets questions from people about his past. But since the charges are over 10 years old and he’s got paperwork proving that he’s paid his debt to society, he’s happy now to tell the story. And in fact he is frequently invited to share his story of redemption to provide hope to others.
“I’m living proof that with God’s help, anyone can turn their life around,” says Boyd. “You can’t go much lower than I did – between being dominated by an all-consuming addiction and being a fugitive from the law, it doesn’t get much worse. But God has sent person after person in my life who has helped turn me around, and it continues to this day.”
Boyd appears live in Tampa on August 12th as part of the “Rescue My Future” event, a seminar focused on helping investors learn more about how to safely and securely invest in Costa Rica real estate. Rescue My Future takes place at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay at 7pm. Registration is $ 25 per person and is available by calling (800) 529-9086 or online at http://RescueMyFuture.com.
Charles Boyd (AKA “Costa Rica Charlie”) is the co-founder of The Costa Rica Team, which helps North American investors purchase real estate and conduct business in Costa Rica. Based in Sarasota, Florida, The Costa Rica Team has launched a seminar series about Costa Rica Real Estate known as Rescue My Future.
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