Airline Passenger Pleads Guilty To Digesting 50 Pellets Of Cocaine


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Airline Passenger Pleads Guilty To Digesting 50 Pellets Of Cocaine

By Shane Nolan

October 2, 2011 - An Arkansas man pleaded guilty Thursday to possession of more than 500 grams of cocaine with the intent to distribute, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation (MBI). 

Barratt Eni, 54, Little Rock, Ark., faces a mandatory five to 40 years in federal prison. On July 9, federal agents contacted Eni at the Orlando International Airport. He was a scheduled passenger on a trans-Atlantic flight to London.  

Eni freely spoke with the agents and permitted a trained narcotics detection canine to inspect him and his carry-on baggage. When the canine positively alerted to the presence of narcotics on Eni, agents conducted a pat-down search, but found nothing.

When Eni consented to an x-ray of his body, a physician informed agents that Eni had numerous foreign bodies inside his digestive tract. Eni then voluntarily admitted to swallowing approximately 50 pellets containing a narcotic before flying into the Orlando airport. 

A typical full-body scanner found at airports are unable to detect if something is in the body. The airport full body scanners are devices that creates an image of a person's nude body through their clothing to look for hidden objects without physically removing their clothes or making physical contact.

One technology used under the name "full-body scanner" is the millimeter wave scanner, the active form of which reflects extremely high frequency radio waves off the body to make an image on which one can see some types of objects hidden under the clothes. 

Eni was given a CT scan, X-ray computed tomography (CT) is a medical imaging method employing tomography created by computer processing. Digital geometry processing is used to generate a three-dimensional image of the inside of an object from a large series of two-dimensional X-ray images taken around a single axis of rotation. 

Eni, a naturalized citizen of the United States from Nigeria, stated that he was returning to Nigeria to attend his brother's funeral. He said that a man had offered to help pay for the funeral, but that Eni was supposed to transport drugs back to Nigeria for him in return. 

Eni underwent emergency surgery to remove a total of 54 pellets from his digestive tract. A laboratory subsequently determined that the substance in these pellets was cocaine hydrochloride with a net weight of 804.28 grams. The quantity of cocaine, the packaging and the method of concealment are consistent with cocaine distribution.

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