Just saw Dennis O...

mr3cushion

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Sep 17, 2008
Messages
7,371
From
Cocoa Beach, FL
From Jay Helfert.

Unfortunately this is all true. Dennis was supposed to come to my home last night, after his plane arrived at 6 PM. I waited and waited and at about 10 PM I began to get worried. He has come here dozens of times and never had a problem before. My first thoughts were dire ones and I checked with Philippine Air and his flight did arrive on schedule. So I knew something happened after he got to Los Angeles. There were only two real possibilities; trouble entering the country or something far worse like a robbery during his taxi ride to get here. That kind of thing has happened more than once in the last year, where a rogue cab driver, along with an accomplice rob an unsuspecting passenger. Knowing Dennis and that he would put up a fight, I became very worried, so I called the police. The local sheriff station sent someone to my home, now well after Midnight. He took all my information and information about Dennis, but told me that since he was not a U.S. citizen there wasn't anything he could do. He gave me the direct phone number for Customs and Immigration and suggested I go to the airport early in the morning. I tried calling the number but just got a service saying they are closed now (It was Sunday night).

I tried to get some rest but was antsy to find out what happened to my friend. After a few hours of restless sleep I woke my wife and told her we were going to the airport. We got to LAX at 5 AM and it was like a morgue, with nothing opened and only a few people sleeping in chairs and on the floor, their luggage piled around them. The Customs office was closed and so was the airport police station. Lenie and I walked everywhere in the International terminal and I explored all the back hallways to see what I could find. There was virtually no security presence at that time of day, only TSA checkpoints that led to the boarding areas. I tried but was unable to bypass them. There was no place to get any food and almost all the restrooms were closed (we did find one). People were beginning to stream in at about 6 AM, as the first flights were going out at 7 AM. I stopped a Customs officer who was entering the terminal and asked him when their office opened. He said between 6 and 7 AM.

About 6:15 Philippine Air opened their counter and I inquired about Dennis there. I found out that he did make his flight and arrived in Los Angeles. The guy was close mouthed about what happened after that and he told me he couldn't discuss it. We now waited outside the Customs office for them to open. That's when we got the message from Dennis' wife that he had been allowed to send a text message to his family who were justifiably concerned about him (I had contacted them much earlier in the night to make sure he had made his flight and told them he never got to my house). Dennis had just texted them that he had been banned from entering the U.S. for five years and they were sending him back home today.

Soon after that the Customs office opened and I was the first one in line. I inquired abouit Dennis and asked them if he was there. The guy pointed to a sign that said in bold letters that all information was bound by PRIVACY, meaning he couldn't tell me anything. I'm not easily discouraged and told him I understand. I then told him who Dennis was and he listened, which was good. I knew he had overstayed his visa and asked him what the penalty was. He then told me a five year ban and if it happened again he would be blacklisted for life! I knew then he was well aware of who I was talking about. I'm sure everybody had seen his pool gear by now and knew who he was. I then asked where they would hold someone and he pointed to the back of the terminal and said back there they have rooms (cells) where they hold people if necessary. I didn't bother to ask him if I could see Dennis or talk to him. I knew that was out of the question.

I told Lenie we could go home now. We had been there for hours and there was nothing else we could do. I was somehow relieved that Dennis was being held at Customs and would be going home. The other scenario that played in my head was much more troubling. We will try to find Dennis a good immigration attorney but I'm not optimistic. This is not like being arrested where you are innocent until proven guilty. There is no court here. Decisions by the Immigration department are final!
 

BrookelandBilly

Verified Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
320
From
Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas
Just saw Dennis O. got sent back home for 5 years by Customs.

No DCC for him!

I'll try and relocate the FB thread.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/513379762099214/user/100000680555898

Another thread: https://forums.azbilliards.com/threads/dennis-orcullo-banned-from-usa-for-five-years.538764/
Better Caul Saul. Should’ve Called Saul.

An immigration attorney is the only way to try and regain status. Several things can lead to a ban from overstaying to work related issues.
 
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BRLongArm

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Feb 19, 2006
Messages
1,400
I am guessing Joe Long has been informed and maybe he knows someone that can help!!!
Some of the movers in the sport are banding together to get him a good lawyer. I'll know more after we talk to the immigration lawyer. He didn't overstay his visa. He's been very good about going home before the 6 months is up. Problem is that he spent 65% of his time in the US the last five years and they flagged him for that. Busty has the same problem. Aranas will stay home so he doesn't get flagged. I'm hoping we can get them all a professional athlete visa to compete in the major events.
 

stevelomako

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Joined
Jul 2, 2004
Messages
1,168
From
Detroit, MI
It’s kind of like saying you are a resident of Florida (no state taxes) and you really live in another state (with state taxes) 80% of the time.

Your residency is where you live more than 50% of the time.

People do all of this all the time, sometimes they get caught.



This one might be tougher because he’s been doing it for years…never overstaying his Visa but staying here like 80% of the time.

Hopefully they get a solution and it’s a wake up call for all of them.
 

BRLongArm

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Joined
Feb 19, 2006
Messages
1,400
We have hired a lawyer out of Tampa to handle Dennis' case. He will be seeking an O-1 visa, with Omega Billiards sponsoring him. If you'd like to help, reach out to Omega Mike, MMP Phil, Roy from Roy's Basement, Jay Helfert, Carl Bolm, Tommy Midena, Carlos Sanchez from Houston, Buffalo James Leone and Doug Beasley of Beasley cues and thank them for stepping up for Dennis. Maybe buy a cue or support their stream. Maybe go to their pool room and spend a little money. Dennis is the face of pool in many parts of the world right now and pool is better with him playing.
 

RabbiHippie

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Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
87
O-1 Visa: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement

I was curious about this O-1 visa since I'd never heard of it before, so here's the full text describing the process from US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Certainly Dennis is regarded as exceptional by all in the pool world and should qualify, but I can see some bureaucrat ruling that NO pool player is exceptional. Thus the need for an attorney.

Interesting that there's also a related O-2 visa for people whose job is supporting the exceptional athlete. My guess is that means coaches and trainers and the like or possibly an agent.
 
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