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'Barefoot bandit' suspect set for transfer to Washington

By the CNN Wire Staff
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: "Barefoot bandit" likely to be transferred to Washington state within 2 weeks
  • NEW: Harris-Moore appeared relaxed at his hearing; was seen laughing with another detainee
  • A detention hearing will be held in Washington
  • In the Bahamas, where he was taken in to custody, he pleaded guilty to illegally landing a plane

Miami, Florida (CNN) -- The so-called "barefoot bandit" suspect will be sent to Washington state to face charges there, a federal judge in Miami, Florida, ruled Friday after Colton Harris-Moore waived his right to an extradition hearing.

He will be transferred in the next two weeks aboard a secure federal transportation service called "con air," said Barry Golden of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Harris-Moore, 19, is believed to be the person who earned the "barefoot bandit" nickname because he was unshod when he broke into houses in Washington. He was captured in the Bahamas after he apparently flew a stolen private plane there.

He appeared in Miami Federal Court Friday morning dressed in government-issued socks, sandals and shackles. Before the hearing, the young defendant appeared relaxed and even shared a few laughs with another detainee.

Harris-Moore did not speak during the session, which was a continuation of his first appearance earlier this week.

A public defender represented Harris in lieu of his attorney in the state of Washington, who will be present when a court there reads the charges against Harris and then conducts a detention hearing.

Video: 'Barefoot' suspect in Miami
Video: Who is Colton Harris-Moore?
Video: Mother of 'Barefoot Bandit' speaks
RELATED TOPICS
  • Bahamas
  • Miami

The Washington attorney, John Henry Browne, on Friday filed the request to waive the extradition hearing so his client could be immediately transferred to Washington. Magistrate Judge Robert L. Dube granted the request once he confirmed through the public defender that Harris-Moore has legal representation.

U.S. Marshal Albert Diego said the defendant will continue to be held at the Federal Correctional Center in downtown Miami until a secure flight to Seattle, Washington, is available for him.

Harris-Moore was taken into custody on Harbour Island in the Bahamas early Sunday.

He was sought in a string of home and airport break-ins in various U.S. locations, along with thefts of vehicles.

In the Bahamas, Harris-Moore pleaded guilty to a charge of illegally landing a plane, paid a $300 fine and was ordered deported, his lawyer said. Police said the plane was a Cessna that was stolen in Indiana and flown to the Bahamas, where it was found in the shallows off Abaco Island.

Harris-Moore was flown to Miami on Tuesday, the FBI said.

Typically in extradition cases, the accused makes a first appearance in the federal court closest to where he was arrested, said Emily Langlie, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington. The Southern District of Florida, in Miami, is the closest jurisdiction to the Bahamas, she said.

He is named in a federal complaint that was sealed until last week after being filed last December. The charge in the complaint -- interstate transportation of stolen goods -- stems from the theft of a plane in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, that crashed outside Granite Falls, Washington, Langlie said.

A conviction on the charge carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

Under the federal system, the case will go to a grand jury. If an indictment is returned, more charges could be filed.

Federal prosecutors are working with other states to determine the best way to go forward in this case, but the courts Washington will get him first since he was arrested on their warrant, Langlie said.

"He seems to be very remorseful," Monique Gomez, a Bahamian lawyer who represented Harris-Moore in Nassau, told CNN in a telephone interview.

Asked whether he acknowledged guilt in the other cases, Gomez said, "Let me put it this way -- he wishes he had done things a little differently in his life." Still, she added, he appeared "in good spirits."

Authorities in Madison County, Nebraska, issued an arrest warrant for Harris-Moore last month on charges of burglary and theft by unlawful taking or deception. The affidavit supporting the warrant alleges the youth waged a crime rampage.

The teen had been on the run since he escaped from a juvenile halfway house in Renton, Washington, in 2008. The FBI had offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

Harris-Moore has amassed more than 80,000 Facebook fans. In December, Time magazine dubbed him "America's most wanted teenage bandit." And 20th Century Fox has purchased the rights for a film based on his exploits.

CNN's Ashley Hayes, John Couwels, Patrick Oppmann, Susan Candiotti and Tom Watkins, and InSession Correspondent Jean Casarez contributed to this report.

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