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Sci-Fi Author Peter Watts Just Barely Avoids Jail Time For Run-In With Border Guard

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PORT HURON, Mich. — A Canadian science fiction writer who refused to comply during a U.S. customs inspection has avoided jail in Michigan.

Fifty-two-year-old Peter Watts of Toronto on Monday avoided a 60-day jail sentence imposed by Circuit Court Judge James Adair by paying more than $1,500 in fines and fees.

Watts faced up to two years in prison after a St. Clair County jury in Port Huron found him guilty of obstructing and resisting a police officer.

Watts was trying to cross into Canada at the Blue Water Bridge Dec. 8 when his vehicle was selected for inspection by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers. Authorities say he was detained after becoming noncompliant. Watts said he tried to comply.

Watts' books include "Starfish," "Maelstrom" and "Behemoth," known as the "Rifters Trilogy."

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