12 days in jail - motor oil "mistaken for heroin"

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132
Location
MI
I almost fell out of my chair when I saw the complete insanity of this several month old article. The irresponsible "border guards" who are apparently unable to use their nose to smell should be fired and heavily sued for this: http://news.sympatico.ca/oped/coffee-tal...heroin/f4c3b392 Grandma jailed for 12 days after motor oil mistaken for heroin 27/07/2011 8:30:00 AM by Nevil Hunt Canada border agents thought they'd hit the jackpot when they arrested a 66-year-old Minnesota woman headed for a bingo game. She ended up in jail for 12 days for importing drugs that turned out to be just motor oil. An American grandma received a horrific welcome to Canada when all she wanted to do was play bingo and visit family members. Janet Goodin's van was searched by Canada Border Services Agency staff when it arrived at the tiny border crossing near Sprague, Manitoba. Inside the vehicle was an unmarked jar containing motor oil. The agents tested the contents and decided Goodin was guilty of trying to import the drug heroin. Goodin was interrogated, strip-searched and sent to the Winnipeg Remand Centre, where she spent time mixed in with criminals. After 12 days, she was released when testing determined the jar didn't contain drugs. That's the kind of nightmare one might expect in a Banana Repubic, but not on entry to Canada. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews told a reporter that he's waiting to read a report on the case before determining "whether there were any errors" made by Canadian border staff. An apology costs nothing and can help mend fences along our great undefended border. I'd suggest Toews apologize now, and apologize even more once the report lands on his desk. Then keep apologizing. Canada doesn't need to deter visitors from the States, and Goodin's story could scare off more U.S. visitors than a loony that costs US$1.06. The blame for the fiasco shouldn't be dumped on our border agents. We count on them to keep out bad people and bad things, like drugs and guns. It's not a simple task. In Goodin's case, Canadian border staff carried out a search and found a substance in an unmarked jar. If those agents tested the contents and determined the material was illegal, then they did what they're paid to do. They had no choice but to arrest the person trying to import the material. If the equipment our border officers use to test for drugs isn't up to snuff, we shouldn't blame the staff. The blame should travel upwards and land on Toews' desk. Next question: why did it take 12 days to determine that the jar contained no illegal substances? Once again, it comes down to the resources provided to the Canada Border Services Agency and the priority – or lack thereof – given to the testing. Surely when we have someone sitting in jail, the testing of the evidence should be at the top of the pile at whatever police crime lab is used to identify the substance. We owe that to Canadians, and we also owe it to anyone visiting our country. Not surprisingly, Goodin has hired a lawyer who will likely file a lawsuit. The money our federal government pays out in this case would be much better spent on improved equipment and processes for our border security staff. Should Canada apologize to Goodin? If it's a good idea to have border security, shouldn't we equip our agents properly?
 
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17,298
Location
OH
Why was the woman's vehicle searched to begin with, and why would anyone have an unmarked jar of motor oil in their car? Oil comes in its own perfectly serviceable container, after all. There is more to this story than what has been related above. Our government has no liability, since she was entering Canada. I don't know that she'd have any compensible claim under Canadian law, and she could only file suit in a Canadian jurisdiction. As I noted above, there is more to this story than the account related in the article.
 
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5,529
Location
Florida
This deserves THE BIGGEST facepalm EVER! duh What kinda idiots do they have patrolling the freakin boarder? MORONS.
 
Messages
1,235
Location
Plattsburgh, NY
Originally Posted By: Darkfire
I almost fell out of my chair when I saw the complete insanity of this several month old article. The irresponsible "border guards" who are apparently unable to use their nose to smell should be fired and heavily sued for this: ...
This is where proper law enforcement training is important. I've only smelled heroin once (Federal LEO training), and believe me, once you've smelled that nasty, stomach turning, vinegar-like smell puke , you'll never have any trouble distinguishing it from motor oil.
 
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8,576
Location
Ohio
Maybe this fiasco is due to the silly PC idea that we have to treat and scrutinize everyone, even little old ladies, the handicapped etc as potential criminals, otherwise it would be "profiling".
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Messages
46,293
Location
New Jersey
And I thought it was bad getting questioned about taking illegally left batteries from the public dump... But seriously, I've found Canadian border control people to be far less friendly than other customs people elsewhere (including the USA).
 
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3,577
Location
no. indiana
Originally Posted By: fdcg27
Why was the woman's vehicle searched to begin with, and why would anyone have an unmarked jar of motor oil in their car? Oil comes in its own perfectly serviceable container, after all. There is more to this story than what has been related above. Our government has no liability, since she was entering Canada. I don't know that she'd have any compensible claim under Canadian law, and she could only file suit in a Canadian jurisdiction. As I noted above, there is more to this story than the account related in the article.
Have no idea why her car was searched but I had mine searched over 30 years ago when I claimed a partial carton of cigs and wished to pay the tax required. All I got for attempting to be an honest citizen was being accused of being a criminal. This was with U.S. Border agents, during the no gas available on weekend period.
 
Messages
263
Location
Kansas, USA
My dad, who is just shy of 60, was locked up not to long ago. Not going to explain why. My best friend, used to, buy weed from a person in a wheel chair. He only smokes tobacco now. My brother (deceased), showed me that there are just as many women who use drugs as there are men. One of his "clients" was a 62 year old woman, she bought about $500-800 every two weeks and sold it at a bar, where she worked. I'd rather not get to far off topic. For the most part i agree with what was done. Who caries motor oil in a jar?
 
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252
Location
Kansas
This would be more believable if it was on our southern border, and the granny's name was Maria. But a 66 year old gopher granny getting busted in Canada? Sheeeeeeeeesh. I hope she sues the cranberries out of them!
 
Messages
1,478
Location
Iowa
I just last week carried used oil in a plastic quart milk jug across the Canadian border. Was taking it back from our vacation cabin for recycling after changing the oil in our fire sprinkler water pump. I didn't realize at the time that I could possibly be doing anything to jeopardize my freedom. Maybe next time I'll just dump it in the lake (kidding).
 
Messages
5,153
Location
MW
Quote:
The agents tested the contents and decided Goodin was guilty of trying to import the drug heroin.
What kind of a test shows motor oil as heroin? There must be more to this story than we are led to believe.
 
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