Two Canadians seized at BWI on drug charges

April 23, 1992|By John Rivera | John Rivera,Staff Writer

Two Canadian nationals were being held last night on $100,000 bail each after their arrest at the Baltimore-Washington International Airport in connection with the possession of 4.8 pounds of hashish oil, worth more than $20,000, according to a U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service official.

Christena Saunders, 28, a resident of Ontario, Canada, arrived at the airport Monday night on an Air Jamaica flight from Montego Bay. She was waiting to board a flight bound for Canada when her nervousness aroused the suspicion of an immigration officer, said Louis D. Crocetti, deputy director of the Maryland office of the INS.

Ms. Saunders was sent to a secondary inspection area, where she was asked more questions and her luggage was searched, but nothing was found. "They noticed that her stomach looked a little bigger," Mr. Crocetti said, adding: "They asked her if she was pregnant and she said 'no.' "

A body search revealed that around her waist she was wearing a pouch containing 4.8 pounds of hashish oil, he said.

In her belongings, inspectors found the name of another passenger, Robert McGee, 52, also a Canadian citizen. Authorities said Ms. Saunders told them he was her traveling companion, and they were both arrested.

They were "very calm," Mr. Crocetti said. "Neither one of them got very upset."

Ms. Saunders and Mr. McGee were turned over to Maryland State Police, who charged them with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, Mr. Crocetti said.

Hashish is processed from marijuana resin. Maryland has no law covering possession of hashish oil, a concentrated form of hashish, so the two were charged with possession of marijuana.

Both suspects were being held at the Anne Arundel County Detention Center in lieu of $100,000 cash bail, with a detainer stipulating that if they are able to post bail, they will be held without bail by the INS, Mr. Crocetti said.

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