Published Wednesday, February 19, 2020

U.S. citizen and Canadian jailed for alleged  mixing chocolate with marijuana

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Drug Control Police detained two foreign men on Tuesday at the baggage checkpoint of the Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, Guanacaste, with a cargo of chocolate with marijuana.

According to the police report, the first man arrested was a U.S. citizen surnamed Sayela-Wala, 31. The second man arrested was a Canadian, surnamed Cameron-Paterson, 49.

Both foreigners were arrested at the time their luggage was inspected at the airport checkpoint, where 1,087 units of chocolate bars plus nine pieces of chocolate containing marijuana were found by police.

According to the police, the cargo weighs a total of 83 kilos of chocolate including marijuana.

According to the data provided by the police, both men entered the country Feb. 14, through the land migration post of Peñas Blancas on the northern border with Nicaragua.

At the time of the arrests, both men intended to leave the country through the airport on Liberia for Amsterdam  in Holland, making a stopover in the U.S., the police said.

"The suspects were carrying seven suitcases as luggage within which police officers detected a large number of chocolates that were mixed with apparent marijuana," said the police in its statement.

In addition to the confiscation of cargo, the police seized $1,808 in cash.

The two men were taken to the cells of the Public Ministry where they were interrogated by the judicial agents and, after that, they must wait until a judge orders the pre-trial measures against them.

A similar case happened in September 2019, when a U.S. citizen, surnamed Singleton, was detained at the same airport in Guanacaste Province, as a suspect of international drug trafficking.

According to the police report, the man arrived in the country on a direct flight from Miami, Florida. In a routine search, officers said they detected packages of candy and plastic containers with suspicious merchandise.

As part of the process in the case of drug trafficking alert, the airport officials requested the support of specialists from the Air Surveillance Service.

According to Airport Police Chief Captain Otto Arrieta, a K-9 dog that specializes in drug tracking detected marijuana hidden in the suspect's luggage.

"In the suspect's luggage there were 29.34 grams of marijuana in wraps and 17.92 grams of marijuana in jelly candies," said Arrieta.

Singleton was taken to the cells of the Public Ministry in Liberia where a judge ordered pre-trial jail against him.

Have you heard about expats or tourists jailed in Costa Rica for drug trafficking?
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