When Raymond Stansel was busted in 1974, he was one of Florida’s biggest pot smugglers. Facing trial and years in prison, he jumped bail, changed his name, and holed up in a remote Australian outpost. Even more remarkable than that? His second life as an environmental hero.
People in Far North Queensland often talk about Lee as someone who found redemption: a man running away from a troubled past who transformed himself into a protector of one of the world’s most pristine natural habitats. “Reflecting on it now, it’s just what Australia’s all about,” said Norman Duke. “It’s all about redemption. All about finding a new life.”