They Made Him An Offer He Could Not Refuse: Client Aquitted By Jury For Importing Cocaine From Jamaica Under Duress

D.R. was charged with importing eight ounces of cocaine into Canada. 

In Jamaica, D.R. had swallowed 30 capsules which contained cocaine.  Upon his arrival at Pearson International Airport, D.R. was detained for investigation as a drug swallower. 

D.R. was told that he would not be free to leave until he produced a stool sample which proved he had not ingested cocaine.   A short time later, D.R. admitted to having swallowed cocaine and he was arrested. 

The Crown sought a conviction and a sentence in the range of four to five years in prison.

D.R. chose trial by jury.

D.R. admitted during his trial that he had intentionally imported the cocaine into Canada but argued that he should be excused from criminal liability because he acted under duress.  D.R. testified that he imported the cocaine into Canada because his own brother and a corrupt Jamaican police officer made him an offer he could not refuse: swallow and import the pellets of cocaine or die. 

Drug traffickers will often send people with small quantiities of drugs through Customs first off a given flight to overwhelm the authorities so they will not catch other people bringing in much larger quantities.  Threats are as capable of motivating these people who are supposed to get caught as trying to induce them with money--and it costs less, too.

After a week-long trial, the jury returned their verdict and found D.R. not guilty of importing cocaine.  D.R. has retained his freedom because Canada accepts that criminal offences committed because of threats of death are not punishable so long as the threat of harm or death is more serious than the criminal act committed as a result.


Hussein Aly can be contacted at (416) 598-5261  or

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