Jewish Drug Lord Sues Prison Over Non-Kosher Food

By McCarton Ackerman 04/15/13

A convicted cocaine trafficker claims his prison's meal plan is discriminatory.

Many prisons do offer kosher options.
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Convicted cocaine kingpin Simon Price is suing his prison facility for "institutionalized anti-Semitism," claiming the facility is failing to meet his kosher dietary needs. Price, an Orthodox Jew, began his 28-year sentence in 2005 after being found guilty of smuggling over $53 million worth of cocaine inside drums of syrup. He is suing British prison HMP Frankland for $3,800 in damages, alleging that he had no choice in the food he was served and that both Muslim and vegetarian criminals receive more preferential treatment behind bars. Although prisoners at HMP Frankland can choose to cook for themselves, Price says that he is forced to share utensils used to prepare non-kosher food. A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice has denied his claims of the prison's "indifferent and discriminatory attitude adopted towards Jews," stating that "we are robustly defending all elements of the claim." Price was jailed in 2005 when British Revenue and Customs officer intercepted his cocaine haul of more than 1,540 pounds of the drugs, which he tried to smuggle from the South American country of Guyana into the Dutch capital of Rotterdam. He previously spent 12 years in prison for his role in a $2.3 million dollar armed robbery at Heathrow airport during the 1970s. The lawsuit comes on the heels of a recent announcement from justice secretary Chris Grayling that he intends to stop prisoners from using UK taxpayer money to sue.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.