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James Lee, Suspected Discovery Channel Hostage Taker, Was Convicted Of Immigrant Smuggling

The strange saga of James Lee, the man suspected of taking hostages at the Discovery Channel's Washington, D.C. headquarters this week, keeps getting more bizarre. ABC News reports that in 2003 he was convicted of smuggling a woman into the United States from Tijuana.

It's an odd revelation because his list of extreme-environmentalist demands for Discovery included a request that " ... programs must be developed to find solutions to stopping ALL immigration pollution and the anchor baby filth that follows that."

ABC News obtained a copy of Lee's plea agreement in the case, which had him serve 18 months behind bars. In it, Lee states that he was coerced into smuggling by Tijuana assailants:

"There I was in a Tijuana hotel being further subjected to more of life's brutality. There I was just being finished being choked and robbed. Then they offered me work. I had nothing left so I tried it. I started to smuggle people for them ... For one brief moment in my whole worthless life I felt good about myself. I felt like I was really helping people. I have never saved a person's life, but it felt the same as I imagine it would have felt... For once my life seemed to actually benefit the lives of others."

Lee was fatally shot Wednesday afternoon at the channel's Silver Spring, Maryland headquarters after he allegedly took three people hostage, threatened to set off bombs, and made demands via his online manifesto.

As we reported previously, the 43-year-old was once a Southern Californian and even appeared to have lived in Los Angeles for a few years as he tried his hand at acting.


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