Man, woman found guilty of smuggling heroin in humans

CRIME WATCH

February 07, 2006|By MATTHEW DOLAN | MATTHEW DOLAN,SUN REPORTER

A federal jury in Baltimore convicted a Prince George's County couple yesterday of using human "swallowers" to carry heroin in their stomachs while flying to the United States from Africa.

Godfrey Bonsu, 44, and his wife, Victoria Boateng, 42, both of Bowie were convicted of conspiracy to import heroin and distribute the drug.

According to the prosecution's evidence presented at trial, Bonsu and Boateng recruited couriers from Ghana in 2003 and 2004 to smuggle heroin from Ghana, Germany and England.

The couriers, several of whom testified at the trial, swallowed pellets containing heroin and flew into Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, authorities said. They would then meet with the couple at a nearby hotel and transfer the heroin to the defendants.

"The predators make the money. The prey took the risk," Assistant U.S. Attorney James G. Warwick told jurors. Defense attorneys argued the couriers had lied before about their activities, calling into question the truthfulness of their accounts.

Bonsu and Boateng each face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, with a mandatory minimum term of 10 years in prison, a fine of $4 million and at least five years of probation. They are scheduled to be sentenced May 2.

matthew.dolan@baltsun.com

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