Pubdate: Wed, 14 May 2014
Source: Hamilton Spectator (CN ON)
Copyright: 2014 The Hamilton Spectator
Author: Molly Hayes


Some Purposely Arrested To 'Unload' At Barton Facility

Some of the inmates at Barton jail are not only there on criminal
charges - they're also there on business.

People - drug mules - are willingly stuffing their rectums with
drug-filled plastic candy eggs and then purposely getting arrested in
order to "unload" their goods in jail. The drugs are worth 10 times as
much as they are on the street.

"It's not rocket science," a Barton inmate says bluntly.

"We're in here 24-7, 365 days a year some of us. All we've got to do
is think ... and think of ways to outsmart the system."

The Spectator spoke to a number of inmates at the Barton Street jail
about the ways drugs are smuggled in. All of them spoke on the
condition of anonymity, since they are admitting to a criminal offence.

They say guards and lawyers have sometimes smuggled contraband into
the jail.

Stephen Smith, a Barton corrections officer and president of Ontario
Public Service Employees Union Local 248, acknowledges it has
happened. "It's a rare occasion," says Smith, adding the majority
comes from inmates.

Local police are also aware of the ways drugs get into the

"Hamilton Police are aware that this type of activity takes place on
occasion where a person acts as a supplier and enters the facility
with narcotics," HPS spokesperson Constable Debbie McGreal-Dinning

"There are serious personal health risks in transporting drugs this

Oftentimes, the person doesn't know what they have put into their
bodies. If caught, they would be facing a number of serious criminal

Smith said last week that guards are powerless to stop the drugs
coming in.

Cavity searches are not permitted, and the metal detectors do not
detect drugs or plastic.

Inmates suspected of having contraband are often put in a "dry cell" -
a cell with no running water where anything "passed" can be detected
by guards.

Investigators are probing the deaths of three Barton jail inmates they
say are linked to drug problems in the jail.

Marty Tykoliz, 38, overdosed May 6 on what fellow inmates identified
as powdered methadone. The investigation also includes the death
(described only as "not natural causes") of 41-year-old Trevor Burke
on March 25 and the March 2012 overdose death of Louis Unelli.

Authorities have not commented on the specifics of any of these

One Barton inmate who spoke about the rampant drug problem said anyone
headed in to the facility on a warrant or an expected sentencing would
be "stupid" to go in without drugs.

That would surely get you a beating, he says. As a result, he says
there are people who walk around on the streets with these plastic
eggs in their pockets "just in case."

Inmates also described a "goof tax," which requires newcomers to give
up some of their stash to longer-term inmates.

Smith has said correctional officers were aware that powdered
methadone was inside the jail in the days prior to Tykoliz's death.
Correctional officers had asked management to allow them to search
cells for the drug but had not yet received a response when the
overdoses happened.

Inmates said "a kite" (a note) containing information about the drug
was intercepted by guards as it was slid under a door from range to

The drugs themselves are moved from cell to cell through

Inmates rip a "line" from their bed sheets and tie it to deck of cards
or a mini Bible. They attach the stuff to the end and cast the line
under their turquoise metal door until it makes it to the right cell.

Drugs are 10 times as valuable inside in the jail than on the street,
a police source told The Spectator. A marijuana joint worth $5 on the
street could go for $50 in jail.

One plastic egg (the ones found inside chocolate eggs, containing
small toys) holds an ounce of marijuana perfectly, an inmate says.

Drugs are "bought" using canteen funds, through chocolate bars or
extra meals.

In fact, the jail has capped canteen accounts at $120 because of such
transactions, inmates say.

They can also be purchased with help from friends or family on the
outside. Once a specific amount (for example, $40.02) is deposited
into an account, the inmate will be alerted and the drugs are handed

A prominent Hamilton defence lawyer was charged back in 2000 with
smuggling a stash of street drugs into the jail. He was acquitted in
2002 after the judge found reasonable doubt that he had deliberately
brought the packages into the jail to hand over to his clients.

Another strategy described by inmates is to have your bail "pulled"
for a weekend - getting your surety to temporarily resign, sending you
back in for a couple of days before they repost.

Just last month, an Ottawa man earned an extra 30 days in jail after
he was found to have smuggled in three Kinder Surprise eggs stuffed
full of pot at the Ottawa-Carleton detention centre, the Ottawa
Citizen reported.

The man, 29, had reportedly been arrested for breaching probation when
he was taken to jail. Suspecting he had contraband, he was placed in a
"dry cell" to "pass" the drugs. His lawyer reportedly argued the drugs
were for his personal use, not to sell.

A 26-year-old Windsor man was similarly charged last August, the
Windsor Star reported, after police said he was purposely arrested
with the goal of smuggling drugs into the jail. Two eggs - each taped
shut and wrapped in a condom - were found in his front pocket. He
"passed" another four in his holding cell.

In total, police say he had six Kinder Surprise plastic eggs filled
with 71 grams of marijuana, 39.5 grams of cocaine and 16 grams of
ketamine. They pegged the street value of the drugs at $6,260.

According to the paper, another Windsor man was caught in February
2010 repeatedly walking in and out of a Zellers he'd been banned from
as a condition of his probation. Once taken back to a holding cell,
police say he began complaining of stomach pain.

He was taken to hospital where he was monitored. Two days later, he
was taken to the Windsor jail. When officers searched him, they found
six Kinder egg packages in his jacket lining.

Police said at the time they believed the man had stuffed eggs up his
rectum, then retrieved them on the way to the jail and tried to hide
them in his jacket.

"Some of these guys have nothing out there ... their day-to-day is doing
scores to get high," one inmate says.  
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