Pregnant English Drug Mule Avoids Prison

By McCarton Ackerman 03/22/12

London's High Court rescinds extradition after ruling that Lucy Wright would suffer abuse in Argentine prison.

Lucy Wright became a drug mule to alleviate her debts.

Pregnant drug mule Lucy Wright has won a legal battle in London's High Court that allows her to avoid extradition to Argentina, where she'd have to serve a 16-year sentence for smuggling. The grounds of the ruling? She would likely face inhuman treatment in the South American country's jails. The victory reverses a previous extradition order by Home Secretary Theresa May and could potentially worsen already strained relations between Argentina and the UK. “The uncontradicted evidence shows a disturbing pattern of cruel, inhuman treatment being suffered by female prisoners and especially foreign ones in Argentina," said judges Sir John Thomas and Justice Silber in their ruling. “So it is very likely that the appellant would be subjected to this treatment in the absence of any adequate redress available to her.” Wright was arrested at Buenos Aires airport in 2007 trying to smuggle 14 pounds of cocaine in her luggage. Once she was bailed out after a night in Argentine jail, Wright reached Brazil and told the British Consulate she lost her passport. She obtained a new one from them and ultimately made it back to England, where she was promptly arrested. Wright was a former nursing student in London when she became addicted to crack cocaine following the breakdown of a relationship and a bout of depression. She will likely face trial on importation of drugs charges in an English court.

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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.