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Worst Passenger of the Week: With 780 Gram Cocaine Implants

Worst Passenger of the Week: With 780 Gram Cocaine Implants
Jeff Edwards

Every Friday, FlyerTalk looks back at the week’s most charming individuals. While there are always plenty of contenders for our Worst Passenger of the Week column, only one lucky flyer can take home the glory.

Honorable Mention: Flight Cancelled 

Police say a man in a stolen car found his flight from justice quickly grounded after he crashed through a gate at Fargo Hector International Airport (FAR) on Wednesday. The 22-year-old suspect was able to elude officers twice, taking off after being spotted driving the stolen car, but when Travis Brook-Hadley made the questionable decision to lead cops on a chase onto the airport tarmac, the getaway came to an abrupt end. 

“An officer located the vehicle stopped on Dakota Dr. N. with a flat tire,” Fargo Police said in an action-packed statement. “Brook-Hadley saw a squad car approaching and drove northbound on Dakota Dr. N. Brook-Hadley continued to drive the vehicle, eastbound onto 19th Ave. N. after losing a tire, with officers several vehicles behind. Officers were authorized and deployed a tire deflation device on 16 St. N off 19 Ave. N. Brook-Hadley drove the vehicle over the tire deflation device and continued on towards airport property. Brook-Hadley crashed through the airport fence and officers conducted a pit maneuver stopping the vehicle inside a secure area. Brook-Hadley was non-compliant and resisted arrest.”

In the future, the alleged joyrider might want to consider an escape route slightly less securely protected than the perimeter of an international airport. Brook-Hadley may have a few years to consider his mistake – he is currently facing criminal charges, including possession of a stolen vehicle, trespassing, fleeing in a motor vehicle, aggravated reckless driving, preventing arrest, driving under suspension, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Third Place: When in Scotch-land 

Two United Airlines pilots preparing to depart Glasgow Airport (GLA) for Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) were taken into custody on suspicion of reporting for duty while under the influence of alcohol. Police confirm that the two aviators, ages 45 and 61, were arrested just prior to boarding Flight UA162 on Tuesday and were held pending a court appearance.

“We hold all of our employees to the highest standards and have a strict, no tolerance policy for alcohol,” United Airlines officials told reporters in a statement. “These pilots were immediately removed from service and we are fully cooperating with local authorities. At this time, we are working to get our customers back on their journey as soon as possible.”

This week’s disturbing incident comes just days shy of two years since two United Airlines pilots scheduled to fly this exact same route were arrested for arriving at the airport under the influence. In this eerily similar case, the 35-year-old First Officer, Paul Grebenc was sentenced to 10 months in prison and fellow crew member Carlos Roberto Licona, age 45, was given 15 months behind bars.  

The Runner-Up: Highly Unorthodox 

Two passengers in their twenties were given the opportunity to return to their more sheltered lives after reportedly being duped into carrying a large amount of drugs from Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) to London Stansted Airport (STN). The two Orthodox Israeli women described as “incredibly naive” in press accounts were reportedly caught with a package containing what is believed to be the drug khat upon arrival in the United Kingdom.

The pair were held in an immigration detention center until Orthodox leaders from the Jewish Community Council (JCC) in London were able to help secure the release of the 20-year-old and 22-year-old travelers. Although the two women won’t be prosecuted criminally, a Border Force spokesperson says the agency reserves the right to refuse entry and remove any foreign nationals found to be in possession of illegal drugs.  

“We were pleased to help, and in the end we had a good outcome, but this case serves as a warning not to take packages to bring to the UK without checking what it contains,” JCC director Levi Shapiro told reporters. “That’s very important, especially with the High Holy Days coming up. You must be careful and answer officers’ questions truthfully. These young women were asked to carry this bag by someone who offered them money and they got caught. They were lucky – very lucky – to be sent back to Israel and not to be sent to a British courthouse.”

The Winner: Welcome to the Thighlight Zone

A passenger this week went to heroic lengths to conceal contraband on her person, but in the end, her suspicious behavior proved to be her undoing. Authorities say a 42-year-old Colombian national arrived at Bogota El Dorado Luis Carlos Galan Sarmiento International Airport (BOG) with 780 grams of liquid cocaine implanted “between the flesh and the muscle” of her thighs. 

“The abnormal is the new normal,” a police spokesperson told reporters. “It’s a terrible way to put the drug into the body of these people so they can get it out of the country and deceive the police.”

Although scanners could not determine whether or not the implants were for cosmetic purposes or part of a drug trafficking operation, the fact that the passenger headed to Spain “had been acting nervously near airport security” led police to suspect the latter. The drug-filled implants were surgically removed at a local hospital and the now-much lighter on her feet passenger is expected to face criminal drug trafficking charges after being discharged from doctors care. 

According to Newsweek, police have already arrested 160 passengers at BOG with illegal drugs hidden on (and in) their persons. In one infamous case, an air traveler was discovered to have nearly four pounds of cocaine concealed in her breast implants – drawing the attention of security screeners. More recently, a flyer arrived on a BOG to Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN) flight with 500 grams of cocaine worth an approximate $30,000 hidden under his oversized toupee. 

 

[Featured Image: Getty]

View Comments (2)

2 Comments

  1. drvannostren

    August 11, 2019 at 1:06 am

    As a person who frequents Colombia and doesn’t smuggle drugs, I love the final story. I’m always amazed at the cost of coke, not that I know much about it but hearing 780 grams in the first paragraph, I thought, boy, that’s a big risk to take for not a lot of weight, why not put 1.5-2lbs in each breast implant if you’re gonna go to this length? Then I read further and saw that was already tried lol. But what surprised me more is that 500gr has a street value of 30,000$ that’s crazy!

    It makes you wonder though for every 1 that gets caught, how many “surgically enhanced” individuals are getting through every time? Because it sounds like she would never have gotten caught if she was cool. It also makes you wonder what ELSE people are doing to get through.

    Also makes me wish Locked Up Abroad (or Banged Up Abroad, depending on where you watched I think) was still on.

  2. Croupier

    August 12, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    That’s cheap coke!! In Australia the 500 grams would be about $150000 street value.

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