​Senior Jailed For Oil Thought To Be Heroin

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September 26, 2013

A senior was jailed after police thought a jar of motor oil found in her van was heroin. Janet Goodin, 66, was arrested and jailed for heroin. What authorities didn’t know was that the retired girl scout registrar awas carrying around a jar of motor oil. Goodin was on her way through the Canadien border to play bingo where she was arrested and kept for 12 days by border guards.

“I couldn’t even think, I was so astounded…I said, ‘That’s not even possible.’ I said, ‘I’m sure it’s oil that was put in there that was left over or something.’ And they said, ‘No, it tests positive for traces of something,” said Goodin when she told the story to CBC News on Tuesday.

A cursory test of the liquid convinced guards it was the illicit drug and Goodin, was handcuffed, arrested and charged with possession of a drug for the purpose of trafficking as well as importing a controlled substance. Goodin had no money to post bail so she had to wait out the 12 days in jail until tests were conclusive. Goodin hasn’t been given an explanation from Canadian officials about what happened, or been offered an apology.

More lab testing should have been performed prior to charging and detaining Goodin, said Scott Newman, a lawyer who represented her at the time of her incarceration.

“They should have waited until further lab tests had indicated whether or not there was in fact heroin in the motor oil,” Newman said. “The other difficulty is a test like that only indicates the presence or absence of something; it doesn’t say how much.”

In many countries, drug smuggling carries a severe penalty, including the death penalty (for example, China and Singapore). In 2010, two people were sentenced to death in Malaysia for trafficking 1 kilogram/2.2 pounds of cannabis into the country. On March 30, 2011, three Filipinos were executed by the Chinese government for drug trafficking.