An American man who had spent more than 3 decades living on a false passport in a Queensland town has been jailed in the US. The 74-year-old, Patton Edison, who was known also as Peyton was arrested at his Julatten home last year.
The sudden arrest prompted a great deal of support for Mr Edison from the local community as well as with two Federal Members of Parliament.
Using false passports, Eidson fled the US in 1985 with his wife and daughter in tow. Eidson was fleeing prosecution for his role in a cannabis (marijuana) ring.
On Friday, Mr Eidson was sentence to 3 years prison after he plead guilty to his role in the operation that was smuggling marijuana between the USA and Thailand in the 1980’s.
Warren Entsch, the MP for Leichhardt, has said that Eidson has made a considerable contribution to his local community and said that the US courts should take into consideration the time he spent “in detention in Australia”. Mr Entsch said that he hoped that Eidson could spend the rest of his days in Australia as he has emphysema and is currently well enough to travel back to Queensland.
Mr Entsch went on to say that Eidson’s daughter Maya, who runs a restaurant in Queensland, was present in court when he was sentenced. Mr Eidson’s wife died in 2016 and was buried at the family house in Julatten.
Eidson was first faced with his past in 2011 when authorities finally caught up with him. He had to spend 3 month in an Australia jail in 2017 before volunteering to face charges in the US.
Mr Entsch said that he had secured an assurance from Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton that Eidson’s return to Australia would be fully legal.