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Woman Ingests 50 Pellets of Cocaine; Meets Officers at Airport

Boston Globe via YellowBrix

February 08, 2011

BOSTON – Even before her flight touched down Saturday in Boston, Luisa Y. Gil had drawn the attention of authorities because of her same-day flight reservation and her point of origin, the Dominican Republic.

When the 21-year-old arrived at Logan International Airport at 8 p.m., State Police questioned her. During the interview, she allegedly admitted that before her flight she had ingested 50 pellets containing cocaine.

Gil said she was paid $2,000, according to authorities. Together, the pellets contained about a half-kilogram of cocaine, with an estimated value of $50,000.

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Luisa Y. Gil, 21, who is from Union City, N.J., was arraigned yesterday morning in East Boston District Court on trafficking charges and ordered held on $200,000 cash bail.

“It’s an incredibly dangerous endeavor, and she’s fortunate her health is intact,’’ said Jake Wark, spokesman for the Suffolk dis trict attorney’s office. “Unfortunately, she’s not alone in these actions by a long shot. There’s a tremendous amount of creativity at work in bringing narcotics into the country, and the health of the transporters is not important to the kingpins.’’

Gil, who is from Union City, N.J., told police that she had been a student but wasn’t currently enrolled in college. She said she was unemployed and coming to the United States to live with her aunt in Roxbury.

She said her cousin was picking her up at the airport. But prosecutors say Gil has no real ties to the Boston area and that the person who waited for her inside Terminal E was Daniel Rivera Valasquez, a man who later told authorities he was paid $500 to pick her up and take her to another man named “Ramon.’’ When troopers searched Valasquez, they found a photocopy of Gil’s passport, with her picture, in his shoe.

According to a police report, Valasquez said he grew worried as he waited inside the terminal, fearing he had been drawn into something illegal. He said he met Ramon at a restaurant in Roxbury three days earlier and that Ramon provided him with a cellphone and the photocopy. Valasquez is in the custody of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and faces deportation.

Wark declined to say whether authorities expect to make additional arrests.

Gil was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital after her arrest and later passed all 50 pellets, authorities said. She was arraigned yesterday morning in East Boston District Court on trafficking charges and ordered held on $200,000 cash bail.

In the courtroom yesterday, Gil rested her handcuffed arms atop a wooden partition and listened to a Spanish interpreter.

The defendant’s attorney, Anthony Lochiatto, said Gil was unaware that the pellets contained cocaine and that she “had a really minor role’’ in bringing the drugs to the United States.

“She had a task that actually put her at risk,’’ Lochiatto said during the arraignment. He said Gil doesn’t have a criminal record. Police in Union City said she has never been arrested there.

Authorities say traffickers have been using humans and animals as drug “mules’’ for decades. Because it is difficult to detect, police and customs officials rely on tips or flag travelers with “high-risk travel reservations.’’

“It’s not an uncommon way of trafficking,’’ said Anthony Pettigrew, a spokesman for the US Drug Enforcement Administration. “I’ve been doing this for 25 years, and they were doing it back then.’’

He referred to a case five years ago, when the DEA arrested 22 Colombians who used humans and puppies as mules to smuggle more than 24 kilograms of heroin into the United States, primarily the East Coast.

In December 2008, a 25-year-old woman died in a New Hampshire hotel of acute cocaine intoxication after ingesting rubber bags containing the drug. She and her twin sister, born in Puerto Rico, had visited the Dominican Republic, where they agreed to smuggle the drugs, according to authorities. The surviving sister underwent surgery to remove several bags containing cocaine.

Gil faces a minimum of 15 years in prison if convicted. She is scheduled to return to court Feb. 28 for a probable-cause hearing.


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  • 012_max50

    sdyoung82

    over 3 years ago

    478 Comments

    Good catch State Police!!! And so the war on drugs continues!! Keep up the fight

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    BForJuvCor

    over 3 years ago

    846 Comments

    As bad as this sounds, i think one needs to look deeper. I work in a detention center that sometimes houses Immigration fugitives and see this alot. These people usually can't admit to the authorities what the reason was for their action but it is more serious than that. The cartels are taking family members hostage in an effort to get people going to the US to smuggle their poison. If the person doesn't cooperate their sibling, child or parent is brutually attacked and murdered. Being a drug mule has deeper reasons than what the paper is allowing us to read. It sucks that these cartels are relentless in the endeavors to destroy decent family's because they know they will do anything to save them. Very sad.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    $2000,00 + 50 pellets of cocane + possible death from ingesting pellets = 15 years in prison "Priceless"

  • Me_callie08172010_max50

    els98

    over 3 years ago

    472 Comments

    I can not STAND defense attorney's. They're just another aspect of our judicial system that has gone to shit. How majority of them can sleep at night is beyond me, and just once I would love to work a robbery, assault, etc where they for once are the victim's and then enjoy seeing the POS walk away on a "technicality".

  • Ba_old_glory_max50

    Jonas

    over 3 years ago

    43610 Comments

    Bump ssu459...

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    Looks as though the defense attorney may be about as bright as the defendant

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    OlympicJoy

    over 3 years ago

    374 Comments

    The stupidity of people is beyond me. How far will some people go for mere money? Farther than I'd like to think.

  • Img_20111016_163737_max50

    DDemlong

    over 3 years ago

    2238 Comments

    I love how these idiots admit to knowingly doing something illegal but then here comes their defense attorney and out right lies for them saying they had no idea after they openly admitted. I hate how attorneys aren't required to be honest people.

  • Charger_pd_max50

    atr001

    over 3 years ago

    146 Comments

    excellent job to the state police. and this woman sounds relatively dumb....

  • Img_20111016_163737_max50

    DDemlong

    over 3 years ago

    2238 Comments

    ITS A JERSEY THING!

  • 1979_max50

    Robocop33

    over 3 years ago

    14642 Comments

    I say give her a Coke and watch her for a few hours.

  • Images_max160_sq90_max50

    t1401hm

    over 3 years ago

    1754 Comments

    Bump TrafficCop28. Personally, I think defense attorneys should be put on stage as actors. Most of their defenses are hilarious...

  • 20552_1343137337912_1215571721_31006460_5991340_n_max50

    TrafficCop28

    over 3 years ago

    1424 Comments

    "The defendant’s attorney, Anthony Lochiatto, said Gil was unaware that the pellets contained cocaine and that she “had a really minor role’’ in bringing the drugs to the United States."

    Did the defendant think she swallowed a peanut butter & jelly sandwich for $2,000?

  • Images_max160_sq90_max50

    t1401hm

    over 3 years ago

    1754 Comments

    That's amazing that they were able to spot "something that just wasn't quite right". Good job State Police

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