Internet entrepreneur John McAfee – wanted for questioning by Belizean officials in the slaying of an American expatriate – told reporters in South Beach Wednesday night that he will speak with police in Belize if they come to the U.S.
“If they want to come here and talk to me, I’d be more than happy to talk to them, yes,” he said outside the Beacon Hotel, where he is staying.
McAfee posted a message on his blog at 1:15 a.m. Thursday asking the media to respect his privacy. He also had dinner in South Beach before returning to the hotel around 2:30 a.m.
Miami International Airport spokesman Greg Chin said the American Airlines commercial jet carrying McAfee landed shortly before 7 p.m. Wednesday.
McAfee confirmed that he was taken off the plane before everyone else.
“They stopped the airplane before it reached the gate. They had everybody sit down and then they said ‘Is John McAfee on the plane, please come forward,’" said the 67-year-old creator of the McAfee antivirus program. "And there were a whole bunch of officers. I thought, gee, this is continuing. And they said, ‘Well, we’re here to help you sir, please come with us.' And they whisked me away from you people.”
McAfee was released from detention in Guatemala earlier in the day, the Department of Immigration in Guatemala told NBC News.
He said he had no choice about coming to Miami.
“I said, sir, I had no choice. They put me on an airplane. I am here,” he said.
As McAfee was escorted by Guatemalan immigration officials to the Guatemala City airport, he said, "I'm free. I'm going to America."
Chin said that McAfee would not exit from Immigration and Customs to the public area of the airport. "His exit will be handled post-security by federal authorities," Chin said.
Nestor Yglesias, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations in Miami, said he did not know about any special procedures in place for McAfee’s arrival.
McAfee went on the run last month after Belizean officials tried to question him about Gregory Viant Faull, who was shot to death in early November.
McAfee acknowledges that his dogs were bothersome and that Faull had complained about them, but denies killing Faull.
Faull's home was a couple of houses down from McAfee's compound in Ambergris Caye, off Belize's Caribbean coast.
McAfee said in South Beach that he's "not worried at all" about being extradited to Belize.
"If I’m in front of a court, there’s nothing in the world they will do to send me back. They have no evidence, I have tons of evidence about the corruption, the harassment, beginning with the attack on my property in April," he said. "I mean, of course I’m not worried. I’d be happy to go in front of a judge – just not one in Belize.”
McAfee had been detained last week for immigration violations after he sneaked into Guatemala from neighboring Belize. But Wednesday, Guatemalan immigration service spokesman Fernando Lucero said McAfee was being expelled from the country.
"McAfee entered the country illegally," Lucero said. "Guatemala is expelling him. Since his country of origin is the United States, Guatemala is expelling him to the United States."
As McAfee was expelled from the country, he told Bloomberg Television in a phone exchange that he was “perfectly happy with the decision.”
Belizean authorities had been urging McAfee to show up for questioning in the killing, but have not lodged any formal charges against him.
McAfee said he feared he would be killed if he turned himself in to Belizean authorities. In the interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday, McAfee said he has offered to talk to the police "numerous times on the phone."
But "it's not an issue of talking about a murder," he said. "It's an issue of putting their hands on my person."
McAfee's escort to the Guatemala City airport marked the latest chapter for McAfee's strange, monthlong odyssey to avoid police questioning about the killing.
In one of the most highly publicized flights from police questioning since O.J. Simpson led police on televised low-speed car chase, McAfee constantly blogged and spoke with reporters about his life on the lam.
Bystanders in Guatemala City stopped to stare at the passing police convoy, and people at the airport massed around the immigration truck carrying McAfee, straining to take pictures of him with their cell phones.
McAfee suggested his weeklong detention in Guatemala for entering the country clandestinely had taken its toll on him.
"All I can tell you is I'm 10 years older, and I don't know what I'm doing. I'm just going to Miami," he said.
His 20-year-old Belizean girlfriend who has accompanied him since he went on the run was not with him on the ride to the airport. She was last seen early Wednesday leaving the detention facility crying, after bringing McAfee breakfast.
The British-born McAfee has led an eccentric life since he sold his stake in the software company named after him in the early 1990s and moved to Belize about three years ago to lower his taxes.
He told The New York Times in 2009 that he had lost all but $4 million of his $100 million fortune in the U.S. financial crisis. However, a story on the Gizmodo website quoted him as describing that claim as "not very accurate at all."
McAfee is an acknowledged practical joker who has dabbled in yoga, ultra-light aircraft and the production of herbal medications.
On Sunday he said he yearned to be in the United States and "settle down to whatever normal life" he can.
"I simply would like to live comfortably day by day, fish, swim, enjoy my declining years," he said.
But on Wednesday night, he said he doesn't have a plan for what's next.
"I’m here, I’m hungry, I plan to eat. That’s basically it," McAfee said, adding a moment later, "If you’ve ever tasted Guatemalan jail food, it’s not very nice, and I’d like some sushi.”