5/7/2016 – Senators Seek Help for Older Americans Tricked Into Smuggling Drugs

“We find it terribly unfair that an older American who by all indications is a victim and did not understand that he was being used to transport illegal drugs remains incarcerated abroad while the criminals who masterminded this scheme remain free,” the senators wrote in a letter released Monday.

The lawmakers added, “Because of his age and poor health, this may be a life sentence for Mr. Martin.”

Mr. Martin is one of several American seniors serving time in foreign prisons after being accused or convicted of drug smuggling. Officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the Department of the Homeland Security say they have discovered a vast international fraud by drug smugglers to deceive older Americans with promises of prizes or relationships, setting them up to unknowingly carry luggage filled with cocaine or other items through customs, hoping they will not arouse suspicion.

Read the full NYT article here.