Written by Ronnie
Hi all! This is my first time posting here and I want to tell you about my past and recent travels. I have been on the registry since 1998, here in Florida. It is for a non-contact, non-violent offense that I received five years of probation for. The judge, at the time, did not order me to be put on the registry, but the court did so anyway. In 1998, a judge could not make that decision. Finally, after two-and-a-half years, I was off probation and thought things would get better, but I was wrong.
My first vacation was in 2004 to Venezuela when it was decent and no visa was needed. I went with my girlfriend at the time and all of her family who used to live there. Before I went on the vacation, I went to my local registration place to do my “duty.” I was informed that there was no need to register the trip because Venezuela was not in the US and none of my paperwork said anything about international travel. Knowing this, I went on my trip and stayed one week. I returned home alone and was stopped in US at our immigration. There, I was held for twenty minutes before given my passport back and told to have a nice day.
My second trip was in 2005. I traveled to Kiev, Ukraine to see where my family once lived. I was there for 8 days and also did not register the trip. Upon my return, my passport was held and I was sitting in immigration for 30 minutes. My name was called and my passport handed back to me and was free to go.
In 2009, I made a trip to Russia to visit some really great friends. I did not report that trip as well and was gone for eight days. When I returned from my vacation, same as always, handed them my passport at border control. Got held for thirty minutes, then had my passport returned to me and told to have a nice day.
In 2010, my girlfriend, at the time, in Russia, was able to get a visa to visit the US. She was here for almost 4 months, so we decided to get married. We went through the immigration process, and that I will talk about on my next post.
In August of 2013, we traveled together to Russia to her sister’s wedding. I had to leave alone because of work. At the airport in Miami, I was greeted by two US Marshalls and led to a private area of the airport. My baggage was checked and, after about an hour, my passport was returned to me – I was free to go.
In January 2013, there was a large knock on our door: it was the police who had a warrant for my arrest. The warrant only said “sex offender: failed to comply with the law.” Of course, another bad attorney on my case and I had to take a plea. I was given two years’ probation and was released after nine months. I was divorced after eight years of marriage and I stopped traveling until 2019. From then on, I registered my vacations. I had a really good friend in Colombia, and we decided that I would travel there.
IML Shows Its Teeth
Upon Arrival in Colombia, I was denied entry. I was held in the airport, watched by security Guards until the next day, not allowed to sleep, and had to sit in an airport seat for 18 hours. I was never offered food or drink. In Miami, upon my return, of course I was sent to the immigration department and the guy there was really bad. I told him I was not allowed in Colombia, he asked me “why?” with a grin. I told him I was an RSO but he wanted me to say what it meant out loud. He got his smile and gave me back my passport and I left. My friend and I refused to give up: we planned another vacation in Aruba and were all prepared for it and very excited.
I was at Fort Lauderdale Airport ready to board Jet Blue when my name was called. I was pulled aside by four US Marshalls who took my passport. They said it was no longer valid because it did not have the new identifier. I missed my flight and was not able to get a refund from Jet Blue. My friend was about to board her flight to Aruba but I stopped her in time.
I still refused to quit and I applied for the new identifier. We booked the vacation again and this time was success. Upon Arrival In Aruba, I was only asked when I was departing, my passport stamped and told to have a great time. We stayed there for 4 days. Upon leaving in Aruba, you go through two immigration checkpoints: One for Aruba; the next for the USA. Immigration in Aruba was not too bad there, was not waiting long. It is a beautiful and friendly island and we decided to go back in 2019, the only thing was that I was asked who I was meeting. I told them she is arriving in 3 hours from Colombia, it was verified, and once again, we had a blast.
In June 2021 we went back to Aruba because we knew it was safe and there would be no issues. Everything was good until I went through the USA side, was held for about an hour, then got my passport back, and left to go back to Florida. In June of 2021, we went back again, had a great time, and again my only issue was the USA side: I was put in secondary, my bags checked thoroughly, along with my wallet but I was free to go.
My last trip there was this year in April. This time, my girlfriend arrived earlier then me and was waiting for me. As I got in line for passport control, a gentlemen approached me, took my passport and had me follow him. I was taken to an area, and my bag was thoroughly searched and I was asked some questions. He told me he was from Interpol and escorted me out to where my girlfriend was. He told her he was the police and took a photo of her passport from his cell phone. We were free to go but that haunted the rest of my vacation. So I have been abroad five times, but the last was the most difficult for me. My girlfriend got scared and nervous, but she knows my background and all was fine.