The recent news of the U.S. Marine imprisoned in Mexico reminded me of someone I knew. I quickly remembered the last time I saw him. Key West Poker Run 2010, I was riding the 50 Statement Turbine Cat and the Coast Guard didn’t like the 150 MPH Harbor Pass. When we hit the dock and were preparing to be boarded. “Stinky” came to mitigate and I didn’t even have to throw my get out of jail free card. Steven Knight “AKA” Stinky” the man behind the Yacht Clubs of America and the first 80 Foot Nor-Tech Performance Yacht had a tall presence everywhere and with everyone. Once you met him you would never forget him. We fast forward about a year later just before the Key West Poker Run we learned Steven got stuck in a “Sticky” spot in Mexico. It seems there was a misunderstanding about the sale of the 80 Nor-Tech and according to his US based attorney at the time it was all “just a major misunderstanding”.
It was early November of 2011 and Knight had been in Mexico since October 25 closing the boat deal, as he readied to leave the country with hundreds of thousands of dollars, reported to be $950,000,00 in small bills in a suitcase. He was with 41-year-old Walter Stevens who was along as the boat captain. Knight’s attorney, Dan Barks, says Knight sold the boat to a buyer in Mexico and made the first trip to Mexico to pick up a large deposit. Bark says after that trip, he came back with the proper paperwork and without any problems. The money was even deposited into a bank. But, Bark says, it was on the second trip to collect the rest of the money and deliver the boat that Mexican authorities picked him up. When they went back to finalize the deal and just doing what he had done before – declaring the money properly – he was detained and the money seized. Mexican authorities stopped both men after they boarded a private jet in Mexico bound for Texas and the $950,000 was discovered on board in a suitcase. The men and the plane, a Lear 25, and the pilot were taken into custody, I was told the plane and the pilot had been released sometime later. Barks was working with attorneys in Mexico and said Knight could be held for up to 30 days while the Mexican government formalizes charges. That was well over a year ago and he is still in a Mexican Jail.
My attempts to reach attorney Daniel Barks and others for updates went cold fast. But I felt it was a good time to bring the story back because who knows what could happened on the wake of the visibility surrounding the Marine and others who remain incarcerated in Mexico. I will continue to seek out additional information and look for updates about the status of our Powerboat friend stuck in a Mexican Hell.