Criminal

Doody Convicts Rectal Smuggler

Gold nugget (not in smuggleable form)

Back in September, I reported that Justice Peter Doody had taken under advisement the case of a Canadian Mint employee accused of stealing gold and smuggling it out in a rather unusual way. See Rectal Smuggler Won’t Know Doody’s Position Until November” (Sept. 21, 2016). On November 9, Doody ruled that although the evidence was circumstantial—no one actually saw the defendant do this—it overwhelmingly supported the conclusion that Leston Lawrence had indeed stolen $165,000 in gold from the mint by hiding the golf-ball-sized “pucks” in his personal smuggling compartment and walking carefully out with it.

As the Ottawa Citizen reported:

Vaseline and latex gloves were recovered in his locker; the pucks seized from his safety deposit box exactly matched the kind he made in the refinery; he repeatedly set off the metal detector exiting the Mint’s secure area; there was no plausible explanation for the thousands of dollars he wired out of the country.

“In my view,” Doody said in an hour-long ruling, “there is only one conclusion that can be reached when the totality of the evidence is considered—that Leston Lawrence secreted gold pucks out of the Mint. The evidence from the records of the archway metal detectors is consistent with the defendant having regularly secreted gold in his rectum.”

Lawrence in fact set off the metal detectors 28 times in a 41-day period, the evidence showed, often with “sky-high” readings. But he was cleared all 28 times after a secondary search with a hand-held (but apparently still external) wand found nothing. In fact, the mint never even investigated Lawrence, who was caught only because he developed a pattern that made a bank teller suspicious. (Tip: if your bank knows you work at the mint, you need to be extra careful.)

Lawrence was back in court on November 28 for sentencing, but the judge postponed that after Lawrence told him he’s trying to pay back the money he stole. It’s not clear from the report how he’s planning to do that, now that he no longer has a job, but hopefully he won’t be producing any more gold nuggets.