A South Carolina man who faked his own death 20 years ago while visiting Florida says he never looked back after he plunged into the surf.

Bennie Harden Wint was charged with giving a false name after a traffic stop in North Carolina last weekend. The 49-year-old told police that he was running away from a drug ring when he left South Carolina in 1989.

He detailed his escape at a news conference Friday in North Carolina.

Wint said he stuffed money in his pocket and hit the water off Daytona Beach without telling anyone his plans. He says choppy waves left behind by Hurricane Hugo allowed him to swim down the beach undetected.

His daughter, who was 4 when he disappeared, says she cried "but it wasn't tears of joy" when Wint reappeared last week.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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