TORONTO, May 26 /CNW/ - Over the past two weeks, Canada Border Services
Agency (CBSA) and the RCMP have encountered several drug swallowers at Toronto
Lester B Pearson International Airport. On May 13th, 2009, Nicholas Commanda
(25) and Darren Deschenes-Jacko (20) arrived at Toronto Airport from Bogota
Colombia, en route to Montreal. The Quebec residents were examined by CBSA
officers. During questioning, they admitted to having swallowed and anally
inserted cocaine pellets. Following standard procedures, the RCMP was called
to conduct further investigation.
Prior to police arrival, Commanda and Deschenes-Jacko became ill. The
officers suspected that the wrappings of the cocaine pellets were unravelling.
Fearing health risks from the ingested cocaine, CBSA contacted Emergency
Medical Services (EMS), who transported the prisoners to Etobicoke General
Hospital. Medical examinations identified cocaine traces in Deschenes-Jacko's
system. He underwent emergency surgery to remove some of the cocaine pellets.
The remaining pellets were left to pass naturally.
Commanda was held in custody until he passed all the cocaine pellets. The
final pellets were recovered from Deschenes-Jacko and he was medically cleared
on May 22nd. A total of 89 cocaine pellets were seized. Both men were charged
with importing cocaine and appear for a Bail Hearings May 25th at the Ontario
Court of Justice in Brampton.
CBSA officers' quick response and decisive action to engage medical
intervention are credited with saving Deschenes-Jacko's life. "The influx of
so much cocaine would be considered an overdose compared to what any ordinary
user would ingest at one time. That amount of cocaine could cause severe
physical trauma or death," said S/Sgt Freeman Sweazey of the RCMP Federal
Enforcement Section. "When we have a drug swallower in custody we monitor them
for signs of impairment from the particular drug so we can initiate medical
protocols if required."
On May 21st 2009, two more drug swallowers were arrested at the Toronto
Airport. Karen Groves (23) and Leighton Roache (25) both of Calgary, Alberta
arrived from Georgetown, Guyana. Both were examined by CBSA and found to have
ingested numerous cocaine pellets. They were remanded into RCMP custody and
after three days of bedpan vigil, they expelled a total of 184 pellets. Both
were charged with importing cocaine and will appear in Brampton Court on May
For further information:
For further information: Cpl. Cathy McCrory, RCMP Media Relations
Officer, Toronto Airport Detachment, (647) 203-0696; Patrizia Giolti, CBSA
Communications Manager, Officer: (905) 803-5218