This Is Not the USA

He thought he was just doing his job and playing by the rules. Then he learned that the rules are very different in the sovereign nation of the Miccosukee.

As part of the order returning the truck to Negron, the two tribal judges also ruled that Negron and anyone working for him were forever barred from entering the Miccosukee reservation. "That shows you what their real motivation is," Wax argues. "They no longer have to worry about William trying to repossess any of their cars out there ever again."

Two weeks ago Negron dispatched another tow truck to the reservation to pick up his rig because his banishment prohibited him from doing it himself. His vehicle, which requires regular maintenance, was a mess, but slowly, he says, he'll begin the process of rebuilding his business. However, Negron shouldn't expect much future work from one former client: VIP Auto Sales, the car dealer at 9704 NW 27th Avenue that originally hired him to pick up Osceola's silver Infiniti.

A few days after Negron had been arrested and released, Teresa Osceola voluntarily returned the car to VIP, and by coincidence, Negron happened to be at VIP's used car lot that day. But because Osceola returned the car on her own, the lot's owner, Al Vargas (no relation to the attorney), told Negron he wasn't entitled to the $500 repossession fee. "His ego was hurt," says Vargas, "and he was still angry at the way he was treated on the reservation, so he took it out on me."

What Negron actually took was the Infiniti. According to Vargas, when no one was looking, Negron swiped the keys to the car from the office, drove it off VIP's lot, and stashed it at another dealer's lot a few blocks away. "We didn't know who had the car," Vargas recalls. "We even called the police." But a short time later Negron informed Vargas that he had the car. "He wanted me to give him $16,000 for it," says Vargas. "He said that's how much he lost trying to get the car. That supposedly covered everything from the cost of his truck to the amount of money he spent on bail. It was crazy."

Negron, whose criminal case is scheduled to be resolved in early June, will only say this: "I did what I had to do. I got into all this trouble trying to repossess one of his cars and he wasn't going to help me out at all."

Eventually the two worked out their own deal. Negron A the man who had earlier protested to the Miccosukee that he was being extorted A demanded $2000. "It was unfair of him to charge me that kind of money," Vargas shrugs, "but what could I do, take him to court?

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