Airport drug smugglers jailed

TWO drug mules caught at Stansted airport with nearly �80,000 of cocaine stashed inside their underwear have been jailed for a total of eight years.

Colin Adwent

TWO drug mules caught at Stansted airport with nearly �80,000 of cocaine stashed inside their underwear have been jailed for a total of eight years.

One of the couriers, Freddy Quintero-Mendoza, of Woodland Avenue, Brentwood, even had to undergo surgery to remove other drug pellets from his stomach.

Diana Sosnovska, of Lascelles Close, London, and the 49-year-old, each received four years in prison for smuggling cocaine with a street value of �99,000. They had both previously admitted drug-smuggling, Ipswich Crown Court heard.


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Although the pair were sitting next to each other on a flight from Milan on August 15 last year, they claimed not to know each other.

Sosnovska, a Latvian national, was caught when her passport showed a high reading for cocaine while it was being scanned.

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When she was told she would be searched, the mother-of-one admitted she had packages of cocaine on her. Customs officers found three packets in her briefs and another three in her bra. The class A drugs had a street value of �46,000.

The court heard the 25-year-old had a cocaine dependency at the time. She agreed to be paid �1,500 to be a mule because she had money troubles and was struggling to support her three-year-old son.

Prosecutor James Thacker said Quintero-Mendoza initially refused to be searched and denied he had any drugs on him. However, at Chelmsford prison, a search found 21 packets of cocaine taped to his genital area. Two days later the father-of-two was taken to Chelmsford Hospital, where an x-ray revealed he had further packs in his stomach.

Over a two-week period the Venezuelan national produced 18 more packages, before having to be operated on to remove two more drug-filled pellets.

The court heard Quintero-Mendoza was also struggling for money and was desperate for the �2,000 he was paid. He planned to use the money for his wife to go to Venezuela to see her terminally ill mother.

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