DRUG-SWALLOWING SMUGGLER TO GIVE BIRTH IN CANADIAN JAIL[singlepic=40,320,240,right]
Pregnant women fears for daughter left in Jamaica
Peel/Halton Bureau Chief
As a convicted drug sallower from Switzerland awaits the birth of her child in a Canadian prison, the fate of her 20 month old daughter remains unknown.
Sabrina Scheller, 21 of Zurich was sentenced to 28 months in prison on Friday after being convicted of importing cocaine at Pearson airport.
Custom officials say that this is the first time a pregnant woman was caught at Pearson trying to smuggle drugs by swallowing them.
Despite repeated attempts, Scheller has been unable to locate the people in Jamaica with whom she left her daughter when she boarded a Air Canada flight to Canada from Jamaica on January, 30 says defence lawyer Gary Batasar.
“All the telephone numbers she had for the people have been disconnected,‚” Batasar said in an interview. “She is extremely concerned about her daughter’s welfare. She has no idea what has happened to her or where she is.‚”
Scheller now 6 months pregnant was sentenced after Mr. Justice Peter Willkie convicted her of importing drugs.
Despite her condition under Canadian law Scheller would have to serve at least a sixth of her federal prison sentence- which means she will be behind bars for at least another four and half months. She will be deported at the earliest opportunity after that.
Batasar said Scheller was “deeply concerned‚” that she would give birth in prison.
“She is very troubled and scared‚ it’s weighing heavily on her,‚” He said “But she is relived that the court imposed a 28 months sentence. She was well aware she could have been facing up to 5 years in prison.‚”
Scheller was arrested at Pearson on January 14 after arriving earlier from Montego Bay, Jamaica. When an ion scanning device detected on her travel documents she admitted 114 wrapped drug pellets.
Police determined that she had swallowed 1.102 kilograms of cocaine with the street values of $165 000.00.
Scheller spent a week Humber river regional hospital after being arrested as the doctors monitor her health and the health of her unborn child. Unlike heroine there is no antidote for cocaine poisoning and police say she and likely the fetus would have died had any of the wrapping burst or leaked before she passed them out of her body.
In sentencing her, Wilkie called her crime “Clearly commercially motivated‚” and said he hoped that she will realize there is nothing more important then her children.
He called it “depressing and distressing‚” and said she entered in the venture with “her eyes opened,‚” knowing she was putting her unborn child at risk.
Crown prosecutor Kellie Gorman had sough a three year sentence saying Scheller showed “Absolutely no concern‚” for her unborn child in swallowing the narcotics.
Batasar sought a 2 year sentence. Scheller had previously been convicted in Switzerland for drug possession and money laundering.
PREGNANT WOMAN JAILED
BRAMPTON- A pregnant Swiss national will deliver her child in a Canadian prison after trying to smuggle more than a kilogram of cocaine into Pearson airport in her stomach. Sabrina Scheller, 21, now six months pregnant, was sentenced yesterday to 32 months in jail- minus four months credit for pre-trial custody- for bringing 1.1 kilograms of cocaine worth $165,000 into Canada from Jamaica on January 13.
“It’s a distressing and depressing thought that you would put money‚” over and above the health of your unborn child, Ontario Court of Justice Judge peter Wilkie told Scheller.
“Hopefully, when you grow up, you’ll realize there is nothing more important than family,‚” said Wilkie.
Court heard Scheller arrived at Pearson on an Air Canada flight from Jamaica and was directed to a secondary inspection at Canada Customs. Sheller couldn’t provide customs officers with information about where she would be staying or of whom she would be seeing while here.
In her purse, Scheller had $1000 US and the itinerary of another woman on the same flight- who was also arrested on drug charges- but denied knowing her.
An ion- scan of Scheller’s Swiss passport indicated cocaine and she was subsequently taken to Humber Hospital because of her medical condition. She eventually passed 114 pellets of cocaine and was charged with importation.
Defence lawyer Gary Batasar told the court Scheller has a 20- month old daughter she left with parents in Jamaica, whom she has not been able to reach since her arrest.
“She’s troubled and very scared but relieved that this aspect [of her life] is over,‚” Batasar said outside court. Wilkie recommended Scheller to be deported “at the earliest opportunity.‚”