John McAfee, the anti-virus software founder who has evaded Belizean authorities in a homicide investigation, said Thursday that he is glad to be in South Florida. NBC 6 reporter Ari Odzer is among the reporters who spoke to him Thursday in South Beach.
John McAfee, the anti-virus software founder who has evaded Belizean authorities in a homicide investigation, said Thursday that he is glad to be in the U.S.A.
“It’s good to be back in America,” the 67-year-old British native told reporters Thursday outside the Beacon Hotel, the hotel on Ocean Drive where he is staying.
McAfee had been deported to the United States from Guatemala Wednesday after sneaking in illegally from Belize, where police have wanted to question him in connection with the death of a U.S. expatriate who lived near him on an island off Belize's coast.
Thursday, McAfee said that U.S. authorities haven’t questioned him since his arrival in Miami. He added that there was no need for them to do so.
"I don't need a lawyer,” he said. “I'm not charged with anything."
After arriving from Guatemala, he said his worry now is getting two women, both of whom he says are his girlfriends, to the United States.
He said he would stay in Miami until the women arrived to meet him there. He said they are in Guatemala legally after they, too, recently fled from Belize.
"I'm waiting here until I get visas for Amy and Samantha,” he said. “Their lives are in danger. I'm appealing to the State Department for help."
Police in Belize have wanted to question McAfee about the November killing of Gregory Viant Faull, who lived a couple of houses down from McAfee's compound on Ambergris Caye, off Belize's Caribbean coast.
McAfee on Thursday said he didn’t kill Faull.
"Did I kill Mr. Faull?” he said. “No, let me be clear, I have absolutely nothing to do with the murder in Belize."
McAfee said he would be in danger if he turned himself in to Belizean authorities. He accused them of trying to extort money from him.
"When someone storms your property, threatens your life, shoots your dog and then says, ‘Are you going to pay us the $2 million?’ Wouldn't you think your life might be in danger if you don't pay the money?” he said. “I did not pay the money. I am here."
He said Belizean authorities over time made up several allegations against him, including accusing him of running a drug lab.
"If I were to get back on drugs, I have the resources to buy good drugs," said the creator of McAfee security software. "I mean, the margin in selling meth can't be as good as the margin in selling software."
Faking a heart attack in Guatemala bought him some time, allowing his lawyer to arrange for him to be sent to the United States instead of being sent back to Belize, he said.
He said all his funds still were in Belize. "I don't have a home here [in the United States] anymore,” he said. “I don't have any money."
It remains unclear whether U.S. authorities have any interest in talking to McAfee. An FBI spokesman in Miami said the agency wasn't involved with McAfee's return to the U.S.
Other U.S. agencies haven’t said whether McAfee would be questioned or detained in the country. Officials said there was no active arrest warrant for McAfee that would justify taking him into custody.
Several tourists in South Beach took pictures with the newsmaker of the day, including Suzanne Swanson.